European court: Religious freedom a right, but not an absolute one
Defining limits of religious expression in the workplace a thorny issue
Michael Powner, an employment law expert at Charles Russell LLP, said the court's judgment was "a sensible one, highlighting the balancing act that has to take place when different convention rights compete in different factual scenarios."
"One right does not automatically trump others," he said.
Shami Chakrabarti, director of human rights group Liberty, said the verdicts were "an excellent result for equal treatment, religious freedom and common sense."
But religious groups said the rulings sent the message that sexual orientation trumps religion when it comes to rights.
Dave Landrum, director of advocacy for the Evangelical Alliance, said the court "has shown a hierarchy of rights now exists in U.K. law."
"If we want to create a society that is diverse and can live with its deepest differences there needs to be a fuller protection for religious beliefs, convictions and actions," he said.
The court's rulings are binding on the 47 member states of the Council of Europe, the continent's human rights watchdog. The losing claimants can try to appeal to the court's Grand Chamber, a higher panel of five judges.
- 'Because of Him': LDS video on Christ...
- Miracles found at new temple in Florida
- First Presidency Easter Message
- Mormon Tabernacle Choir celebrates Easter...
- The story behind the missionary reality TV...
- Watch: Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs...
- Tabernacle Choir performs Handel's 'Messiah'...
- The Book of Mormon claims No. 1 spot on list...
- LDS Church reaffirms stance on immigration 107
- Atheists, Mormon scholars talk religion 89
- Zeroing in on religious hubs, atheists... 78
- At UVU, Elder Oaks sees hope despite... 77
- The Book of Mormon claims No. 1 spot on... 51
- How much did President Obama donate to... 46
- Linda & Richard Eyre: Tipping points:... 37
- Elizabeth Smart talks forgiveness and... 24