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The Boston Globe

World

Court faults airline for making worker remove her crucifix

LONDON — Religious freedom is a right but not an absolute one, Europe’s top court said Tuesday, ruling that British Airways discriminated against a devoutly Christian employee by making her remove her crucifix, but backing a UK charity that fired a marriage counselor who refused to give sex therapy to gay couples.

In judgments welcomed by civil liberties groups but condemned by religious advocates, the European Court of Human Rights said freedom of religion is ‘‘an essential part of the identity of believers and one of the foundations of pluralistic, democratic societies.’’

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