News: Scientologist begins legal battle for the right to marry in London chapel
Louisa Hodkin, 23, hopes to marry a fellow Scientologist on the site, but the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages in England and Wales has refused to certify the building as suitable for marriages, on the grounds that it is “not a place of meeting for religious worship”.
Legally recognised marriages may only be held in religious buildings which have been officially certified, under the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855.
Miss Hodkin is now challenging the refusal of the Registrar to issue the certificate. Her legal team claim she has been discriminated against on the basis of her religion.
A spokesman for the Registrar General said the chapel could not be certified because due to a 1970 case which it was ruled that Scientology was focused on man and not religious worship.
But Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC, appearing for appearing for Miss Hodkin and the Church of Scientology, said the organisation’s religious practices had evolved since that point.
Scientology, famous for such Hollywood adherents like Tom Cruise and John Travolta, was founded by L Ron Hubbard in 1953.
Share this post
Get free family law updates
Marilyn Stowe’s new book: expert advice on all aspects of divorce, for just 99p!
Divorce & Splitting Up by Marilyn Stowe is the essential how-to book for anyone who is getting divorced or splitting up from a partner. Read more >>
"A must buy that really opens your eyes to what is involved if you are considering or going through a divorce." - Amanda Brown
"This will answer your questions in a way that non-lawyers can understand." - Miss P.
"This really has helped me to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel and I will come out of it a stronger person." - J
Marilyn Stowe on ITV Daybreak & ITV This Morning
Marilyn’s Thought For The Day
Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.
- Marilyn Stowe on Court of Appeal alters contact order
- jess on Court of Appeal alters contact order
- Marilyn Stowe on Adultery and Divorce: The Top Ten Myths
- John on Department for Work and Pensions ‘misleading’ on child support
- ann-marie goddard on Adultery and Divorce: The Top Ten Myths
Subscribe & Follow
Marilyn Stowe is the senior partner in Stowe Family Law, which has offices in Yorkshire, Cheshire and London. With more than 30 years’ experience handling divorce cases and family law proceedings she is regarded as one of the most formidable and sought after divorce lawyers in the UK. In 2012, Marilyn became one of the first solicitors to qualify as a family law arbitrator.
All persons mentioned in the scenarios are fictitious: details have been deliberately changed in order to protect identities and other confidential circumstances of my clients. All advice and information on this blog including posts written by guest authors, is given only as a general guide to the operation of the law on the date of publication. Readers must place no reliance whatsoever on the content of this blog and must always obtain their own legal advice. Marilyn Stowe, Stowe Family Law LLP and guest authors accept no liability whatsoever arising as a result of reliance upon its content.
Contact Stowe Family Law
These downloads accompany Marilyn Stowe's latest book: Divorce & Splitting Up: Advice From a Top Divorce Lawyer. After opening, right click to save to your computer.
For more free downloads, visit the Downloads section.