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U.K. Magistrate Removed From Office For Opposing Same-Sex Adoption To File Suit
KENT, U.K. — A U.K. magistrate that was removed from office last year for telling the media that he believes it is best for adoptive children to be placed with a mother and father will now file suit after also being prohibited from returning to his position on the board of the National Health Service (NHS) Trust.
“Richard is being driven from public service simply for expressing the widely-held, lawful belief that children ideally need a mother and a father. First, the magistracy, now the Health Service. Where will this end?” Andrea Williams of the Christian Legal Centre, which is representing Richard Page, said in a statement on Tuesday announcing the legal challenge.
As previously reported, Page, who identifies as a Christian, had been a judge for 15 years and sat on the Family Panel of the Kent Central Magistrates Court. He has also worked in mental health for 20 years and is a foster parent.
In 2014, Page was reprimanded for disagreeing with his colleagues in a homosexual adoption case, being told that he was wrongfully being “influenced by his religious beliefs and not by the evidence.” The magistrate stated that he could not agree that placing a child in a same-sex home was “in the best interest of the child.”
Page was subsequently ordered to undergo re-education training due to his dissent.
Last year, in speaking with the BBC for a segment about religion being stifled in public life, Page told reporters about the incident and why he could not concur with his colleagues.
“My responsibility as a magistrate, as I saw it, was to do what I considered best for the child,” he said in the televised segment, “and my feeling was therefore that it would be better if it was a man and woman who were the adopted parents.”
As a result, the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) announced that Page had been removed from the bench over his statement to the BBC.
“The Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice found Mr Page’s comments would have caused a reasonable person to conclude he was biased and prejudiced against single sex adopters; they considered this to be serious misconduct which brought the magistracy into disrepute,” a spokesman said in a statement. “They have therefore removed Mr Page from the magistracy.”
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