The suit is being brought by two women who were separately discriminated against by their employers because they were wearing a cross at their workplace. Nadia Eweida is an employee of British Airways who was suspended in 2006 for refusing to take off a cross. Eweida refused because she claimed that members of other religious faiths were allowed to wear symbols of their beliefs. British Airways has since changed its dress code and no longer allows this.
Shirley Chaplin is a nurse who was asked to either take off her cross or hide it underneath her uniform. She refused, and was banned from working on hospital wards as a result. Since she was unable to work in these areas, her nursing career basically came to a halt as a result of her stand.
Many high officials are speaking out in favor of the Christians. Lord Carey has been very vocal about these women’s rights, claiming that the government is acting as a dictator when it comes to people expressing their Christian faith. Attorneys for the government are arguing that since wearing a cross is not a requirement of Christianity, the right to do so is therefore not protected under Article 9 of the European Court of Human Rights.