LONDON, Dec 19 (Reuters) - A member of the Church of
Scientology in Britain has lost a High Court fight to marry a
fellow Scientologist in the church's London chapel.
But the judge presiding over the case said the issue should
be considered by the Supreme Court, the country's highest court.
Scientology volunteer Louisa Hodkin had challenged a refusal
by the Registrar General of births, deaths and marriages in
England and Wales to allow the chapel to be used for marriage
ceremonies on the grounds that it was not "a place of meeting
for religious worship."
The registrar cited a 1970 ruling that another Scientology
chapel was not a meeting place for religious worship because its
services included "instructions in the tenets of a philosophy
concerned with man" and were not concerned with religious
In a 2011 national census, 2,418 people in England and Wales
identified themselves as belonging to the controversial church,
which lists Hollywood stars Tom Cruise and John Travolta among
Hodkin and her fiance wanted to be married in a legally
recognised Scientology ceremony at the church's chapel on the
ground floor of its central London base, the Press Association
Hodkin's brother, David, was married in a religious ceremony
at a Church of Scientology in Edinburgh in 2007, her lawyers
said, arguing that she was the victim of religious
Scientologists have previously unsuccessfully applied for
certification at other premises in England they have claimed are
for religious worship.
Judge Duncan Ouseley said he felt constrained by the 1970
Court of Appeal ruling. He added, however, that the issue should
be analysed by the Supreme Court.
(Reporting By Dasha Afanasieva)