25 October 2012

Bride goes to court to be fleeced by Scientologists

The Independent reports that $cientologists have launched a landmark legal bid to overturn marriage laws in England and Wales. Scientologists believe it is unfair that Protestants, Catholics, Quakers, Jews and Non-Conformists are allowed to have state sanctioned marriages in their religious buildings whilst other faiths are not.

The case has been brought by 23-year-old a bride-to-be Louise Hodkin, who wants to marry her fiancĂ©e in the chapel at Scientology’s multi-million pound London headquarters off Queen Victoria Street. There is nothing to stop Ms Hodkin having a blessing in the chapel following a civil ceremony at a nearby registrar. But under Britain’s complicated marriage laws she cannot have a religious wedding because the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages refuses to recognise Scientology chapels as a “places of worship” - the necessary step before marriages can be solemnised.

Lawyers for Ms Hodkin went to the High Court yesterday to argue that the proscription against Scientology buildings is discriminatory and in breach of the 2010 Equality Act. Lord Lester QC, Ms Hodkin’s barrister, told the High Court that she was motivated by the fact that her fiancĂ©’s brother had been allowed to marry at a Church of Scientology chapel in Edinburgh five years ago, a right which is permitted under Scottish law but denied south of the border.

“She and her fiancee both volunteer at the Church of Scientology and seek to celebrate their marriage through a legally recognised scientology wedding, surrounded by their friends, families and fellow volunteers,” he said. He described scientology as a “theistic religion”, in company with many of the major world faiths, and insisted that its chapels are used for “worship”. “It is a religion which believes in a supreme being,“ he told Mr Justice Ouseley, adding: ”As all the evidence before the registrar shows it does so in a profound way.“

But James Strachan, for the registrar, insisted Miss Hodkin's challenge was ”misconceived“. The decision not to recognise the chapel as a marriage venue had been made under the 1855 Places of Worship Registration Act, he said, and was exclusively focused on ”whether the place in question is for use for religious worship“.

Hmm if Miss Hodkin is dumb enough to believe the bullshit that $cientologyy spouts why not then offer up a substantial payment toreceive a bullshit marriage cermony. Anyone who is taken in by $cientology deserves to be fleeced by the charlatans


SnoopyTheGoon said...

When all missionary and money-grabbing $cientologists (a good one, by the way, I shall use it from now on) are confined to prisons, it could be a good idea to allow them to marry their members. Who shall immediately be jailed, of course.

Francis Hunt said...

$cientology is an excellent way to write the word. :-)

Why should the state have anything to do with religious ceremonies anyway? In Germany, where I live, you have to go to the registry office to get married in the eyes of the state, even if you have a church/mosque/temple wedding as well. One of the basic results of the separation of church and state.

jams o donnell said...

Now that is furm but fair Snoopy.

That sounds like a very sensible way to go Francis. Is scientology still banned in Germany?

Francis Hunt said...

Not completely banned, but regarded with great official suspicion. Like neo-Nazi and extreme Islamist groups, they are under observation by the Verfassungsschutz, the German equivalent of MI5.

And, no, they are not officially recognised as a religion/church ...

jams o donnell said...

Ah I think Germany has the right idea here. Being a scientologist used to be grounds for refusal of entry into the UK at one time

Syncopated Eyeball said...

You can add me to the list of those liking your new spelling: $cientology.

When I worked in a second-hand bookshop sometimes other people would buy copies of $cientology books. Much as I dislike censorship, I decided to give each of those books a wee nudge so they could continue their poisionous existance lost behind the bookcases in the dust.

Steve Hayes said...

Such problems would be so much easier if the state would get out of the marriage business, and religious organisations would get out of the business of registering vital statistices (except for the purpose of keeping track of their own members).

You don't have to be born in a house of worship to register your birth, or die in one to register your death, so why should the state care whether you marry in one to register your marriage?

See here The State should get out of the marriage business | Notes from underground

If Scientologists want to get married in whatever they do their thing in, why not let them? If humanists want to get married in Temples of Reason, it's no skin off my nose.

jams o donnell said...

Haha best place for them Syncy

I can see where you're coming from Steve. To be honest if this bride is dumb enough to be fleeced by the scientologists then she can get married as one. It's her choice... Same goes for any other belief