The applicants, Nadia Eweida, Shirley Chaplin, Lillian Ladele and Gary McFarlane, are British nationals who were born in 1951, 1955, 1960 and 1961 and live in Twickenham, Exeter, London and Bristol (UK) respectively. Relying on Article 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion) and Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination), they complain that UK law does not sufficiently protect their rights to freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination at work.
All four applicants are practising Christians. Ms Eweida, a British Airways employee, and Ms Chaplin, a geriatrics nurse, complain that their employers placed restrictions on their visibly wearing Christian crosses around their necks while at work. Ms Ladele, a Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, and Mr McFarlane, a Relate counsellor, complain about their dismissal for refusing to carry out certain of their duties which they considered would condone homosexuality. (Relate is a national organisation which provides a confidential sex therapy and relationship counselling service.) The Court held a hearing in this case on 4 September 2012.
Press release ECHR 004 (2013) 08/01/2013