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Supreme Court judges allow Scientology wedding Options · View
Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 5:48:48 AM

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Location: In the sweet shop, United Kingdom

A woman who wants to marry in a Church of Scientology chapel has won her Supreme Court challenge.

Five Supreme Court judges ruled the church was a "place of meeting for religious worship".

Louisa Hodkin launched legal action after officials refused to register a Church of Scientology chapel in central London as a place for marriage.

This was due to a 1970 High Court ruling which said Scientology services were not "acts of worship".

In their unanimous decision, the Supreme Court justices said that the 1970 ruling's definition of religious worship as involving "reverence or veneration of God or of a supreme being" was out of date.

"Religion should not be confined to religions which recognise a supreme deity," wrote Lord Toulson, giving the judgment.

"We are really excited that we can now get married”

"To do so would be a form of religious discrimination unacceptable in today's society," he wrote, noting that the criteria would exclude Buddhism, among other faiths.

The court said it was not the job of the Registrar General of Births, Marriages and Deaths to venture into "fine theological or liturgical niceties" and declared that the Scientology chapel should be recorded as a place for the solemnisation of marriages.

Miss Hodkin says she and fiance Alessandro Calcioli hope to marry in the next few months but are yet to set a date.

"It's been a long and demanding journey, but the Supreme Court's decision has made it all worthwhile. We are really excited that we can now get married, and thank our family and friends for all of their patience and support," she said.

Mr Calcioli added: "I think the court's definition of religion is excellent. I think it's what most people today would understand 'religion' to be. I'm ecstatic."

Miss Hodkin's solicitor Paul Hewitt, a partner at law firm Withers, said the judgment was a "victory for the equal treatment of religions in the modern world".

"We are delighted at the outcome - it always felt wrong that Louisa was denied the simple right, afforded to members of other religions, to enjoy a legal marriage ceremony in her own church," he said.

In December 2012, High Court Judge Mr Justice Ouseley said he was bound by the decision in the 1970 case and therefore had to dismiss Miss Hodkin's challenge.

But he said Supreme Court justices should consider the question of whether Scientologists worshipped and, as it was a more senior court, its justices might take a different view.

Miss Hodkin argued that the 1970 ruling should not be binding because Scientologist beliefs and services had evolved and likened it to Buddhism and Jainism.

Local government minister Brandon Lewis said he was "very concerned" about the ruling and its implications for business rates.

He said ministers had promised during the passing on the Equalities Bill that Scientology would continue to fall outside the religious exemption for business rates - but now could be eligible for rate relief.

"We will review the court's verdict and discuss this with our legal advisers before deciding the next steps. However, it will remain the case that premises which are not genuinely open to the public will not qualify for tax relief."

Source: BBC News

Posted: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 12:00:22 AM

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Posted: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 9:27:24 AM

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Joined: 10/29/2013
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"Miss Hodkin argued that the 1970 ruling should not be binding because Scientologist beliefs and services had evolved and likened it to Buddhism and Jainism."


I see

never mind buddhism......kinda wondering how the non-violent precepts of Jainism mesh with Mr. Miscavige's infamous "musical chairs" game, or other hi-jinks at Gold Base.
Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014 8:58:14 PM

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Joined: 11/18/2013
Posts: 881
Location: the nunnery, United States
awesome post!!!

ok so if they will allow a religion based on aliens..right

why the hell cant gay people marry everywhere?

to me this ruling should PAVE the way for gay marriage

and though I am not a fan of scientology...I am a fan of gay marriage!

But yes...a church is a church....and therefore should be allowed to practice all rights of a religious organization

whether you or I or anyone believes..in what we believe in

this is what this country was found on

religious freedom

" smile..it is the second best thing to do with your LIPS!"
Posted: Monday, January 20, 2014 2:26:26 PM

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Joined: 10/17/2012
Posts: 6,661
Location: Sneaking through the forest, Canada
As a member of a church whose worship does not involve "reverence or veneration of God or of a supreme being" (Unitarian Universalist), I have to heart this ruling, even as I am one of those not enamoured of the cultish behaviour of the Scientologists. That said, I'm in Canada so it does not really impact on me.

Julia opens up to a couple in an open marriage and finds that it opens her to new desires but also some old feelings...

Open - A new Bride/Groom story

You can find links to the rest of the series on my blog: https://www.lushstories.com/seeker4/blog
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