The case concerned Margaret Jones, a Registrar with Bedford Council, who refused to conduct same-sex weddings. All civil ceremonies require two members of staff – one to conduct and one to register – Margaret agreed to register the marriage but was unwilling to conduct the ceremony, as she believed marriage can only be between one man and one woman.
Margaret was dismissed on the basis that her refusal breached equality laws and “bought the council into disrepute”. On appeal Margaret was reinstated as it was held that the Council had not fully investigated ways of accommodating her “deeply held religious beliefs”.
Following the decision, Paul Diamond, who represented Margaret, said, “All good employers should follow this precedent, and practicing Christians should no longer fear expressing their beliefs.” This case was reported in the Sunday Times