Gay parents adoption opponent sacked as magistrate


A Christian magistrate has been sacked after opposing adoption by gay parents on national television.

Richard Page, who sat on the family bench in Kent, has been struck off for his "biased and prejudiced" views.

He was previously sent for retraining after saying during an adoption hearing that it would be better for a child to be brought up by a mother and father than a same-sex couple.

During a BBC interview in March 2015 he said: "My responsibility as a magistrate, as I saw it, was to do what I considered best for the child, and my feeling was therefore that it would be better if it was a man and woman who were the adopted parents."

A spokesperson for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said his comments "would have caused a reasonable person to conclude he was biased and prejudiced against single sex adopters".

The 69-year-old was reprimanded in 2014 after he "allowed himself to be influenced by his religious beliefs and not by the evidence" during the family court hearing.

He was found guilty of serious misconduct which "brought the magistracy into disrepute".

Mr Page criticised the decision as "intolerant" and accused Lord Chancellor Michael Gove of "pandering to the new political orthodoxy".

He said: "As a magistrate, I have to act on the evidence before me and quite simply, I believe that there is not sufficient evidence to convince me that placing a child in the care of a same-sex couple can be as holistically beneficial to a child as placing them with a mum and dad as God and nature intended."

He added: "To punish me and to seek to silence me for expressing a dissenting view is deeply worrying. I shall challenge this decision as it is deeply illiberal and intolerant."

The Christian Legal Centre is supporting Mr Page and said his case has been used "to make a political statement".

Chief executive Andrea Minichiello Williams described the decision as "modern day madness".