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Scientologists prepare to wed tomorrow
4:17pm Saturday 22nd February 2014 in News
A couple who won a human rights case in high court are due to marry in a Church of Scientology chapel tomorrow.
Scientologists Louisa Hodkin and Alessandro Calcioli, both 25 and from East Grinstead, were originally told their marriage would not be recognised because the Church of Scientology was not a place for ''religious worship''.
But they can now marry after the Supreme Court ruled a Scientology church was a "place of meeting for religious worship".
Ms Hodkin said she was "extremely happy" and proud that her victory had ended "inequality".
A Church of Scientology spokesman added: "We are delighted that Louisa and Alessandro can now be married in their church in front of their family and fellow parishioners.
"They have paved the way for other Scientologist couples.
"We extend our congratulations to the happy couple and wish them well in their future life together.
"This is an historic day for religious equality and freedom for all in the UK."
Five Supreme Court justices upheld Miss Hodkin's challenge after analysing the issue at a hearing in London in July.
Justices said religion should not be confined to faiths involving a "supreme deity".
They said the Church of Scientology held religious services, therefore its church was a "place of meeting for religious worship".
The Church has its UK headquarters in East Grinstead.
In 1970, the Church of Scientology launched a similar case.
Then, the Court of Appeal ruled that Scientology did not involve religious worship because there was no "veneration of God or of a Supreme Being".
Miss Hodkin argued that the 1970 ruling should not be binding because Scientologist beliefs and services had evolved during the past four decades.
She said services were ''ones of religious worship'' and likened Scientology to Buddhism and Jainism.