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The Christian Institute (CI) is a Britishmarker evangelical Christian pressure group. Registered as a charity in Englandmarker and Walesmarker, the CI promotes a Fundamentalist Christian viewpoint, founded on the belief that the Bible is inerrant and should be the authority on all of life.

While the CI has campaigned on issues including gambling, abortion and euthanasia, it is most notable for its unsuccessful campaigns against gay rights. The CI sought to retain Section 28 and a higher age of consent for homosexuals. The CI opposed The Civil Partnership Act, legislation giving gay couples the right to adopt, and measures to prevent gay people being discriminated against in the provision of services and goods. All these pieces of legislation were ultimately enacted by Parliamentmarker.

In 2000, the CI became the only group to take a case to court for an alleged breach of the now defunct Section 28. The case failed.

The Christian Institute's activities resulted in censure by The Charity Commission in 2001, for breaching rules limiting overt political campaigning by charities, by "publishing a 100-page report, Homosexuality and Young People (1998), which argued against reforming anti-homosexual law with no reference at all to a Christian view."

In 2004 the CI funded a full-page advertisement in The Times newspaper supporting a controversial amendment to the Civil Partnership Bill. The amendment attempted to include within the scope of the Bill siblings who had lived together for longer than 12 years. The amendment was ultimately rejected both in both Houses of Parliament. In response to the advertisement, Members of Parliament questioned the CI's overt political campaigning in light of its charitable status.

In 2007, the CI and others unsuccessfully sought a judicial review of the Sexual Orientation Regulations in Northern Irelandmarker.

In May 2008, the CI funded the legal costs of Lillian Ladele, a registrar from Islingtonmarker, Londonmarker, who took her employer, Islington Borough Councilmarker, to the London Central Employment Tribunal. Ladele had refused to conduct civil partnerships on religious grounds, and following complaints from other staff she was disciplined under the Council's Fairness for All policy. Ladele claimed she had been subject to direct and indirect discrimination, and harassment in the workplace, on grounds of her religion. In July 2008, the tribunal found in Ladele's favour, however this ruling was overturned by the Employment Appeal Tribunal in December, 2008.

References

  1. Christian Institute Homepage
  2. Registered Charity No. 1004774, The Christian Institute
  3. Campaigning charity told to steer clear of politics. The Daily Telegraph, 23 August, 2001
  4. UK Parliament Publications
  5. House of Commons Hansard Debates for 9 Nov 2004 (pt 18)
  6. Christian registrar 'threatened with sack' after refusing to conduct gay marriages | Mail Online
  7. BBC NEWS | England | London | Registrars 'in fear' over beliefs
  8. Landmark rulings strengthen gay rights in workplace. The Guardian, December 20, 2008


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