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At the same time, local authorities in the UK can decide on the approach that best fits their local circumstances.
Some municipalities favour a uniform public service, under which all registrars perform the same duties under the law.
The UK courts and the European Court of Human Rights have since ruled that Islington was entitled to dismiss the registrar to preserve its non-discrimination policy.
In deciding how to legislate, members of Parliament may want to look at how Australia is not the first country to consider the implications for the religious freedom of civil celebrants.LGBTQI groups, in particular, have claimed that ‘[t]he “conscientious objector” clause in the [South African Civil Union] Act is clearly being abused at the expense of the human rights to dignity and equality the Act was intended to protect’.The Netherlands, finally, provides an interesting counterexample to South Africa.Civil marriage officers in South Africa are, upon written request, exempt from solemnising same-sex unions, so long as they invoke reasons of conscience, religion or belief.The South African example is instructive for Australia, because it illustrates how legislative exemptions can elicit further divisive debate.