Officials Oppose Right to Wear Crucifix at Work
British government ready to argue case in European court
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2012 2:57 PM CDT
A crucifix on a chain: Is it legally protected in the workplace?   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Christians have no legal right to openly wear a crucifix at work, say British officials—who are planning to argue their case in court. In a landmark legal battle, Britain's government announced it will side against two women who say they were laid off or sidelined for sporting Christian symbols in the workplace. Nadia Eweida, a British Airways employee, and Shirley Chaplin, a nurse, will face government lawyers when the case reaches the European Court of Human Rights, reports.

At issue is article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects a person's right "to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.” British officials argue that wearing a cross is not a "requirement of faith," while lawyers for the women say requirements are irrelevant—crucifixes "manifest" faith, so they're protected. The conflict is rooted in an earlier clash between officials and Christian leaders over a far hotter topic—gay marriage—which Prime Minister David Cameron openly supports, reports the Telegraph.