Christian magistrate files discrimination suit against Lord Chief Justice over termination for gay adoption stance

A religious discrimination lawsuit has been filed by a Christian magistrate against the Lord Chief Justice and the Lord Chancellor at the Croydon Employment Tribunal due to his termination caused by his stance against gay adoption.

(REUTERS / Christian Hartmann)A demonstrator holds Barbie dolls as people march through the streets of Paris in support of the French government's draft law to legalise marriage and adoption for same-sex couples, January 27, 2013.

In July 2014, Richard Page and two other magistrates reviewed a same-sex couple's application to adopt a child. His fellow magistrates filed a complaint against him and said he had made a decision based on his Christian beliefs. He then explained to BBC that he thought it would be best for the child to have a heterosexual couple as adoptive parents rather than a gay couple, The Telegraph detailed.

In March 2016, Michael Gove, who was the Justice Secretary at the time, and Lord Thomas fired Page for serious misconduct and explained the latter's comments to BBC had illustrated his bias against gay adopters. Page was also suspended by the NHS Trust Development Authority and prevented from performing his duties as the non-executive director of Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust.

Last year, Page lost his legal battle to be reinstated with the NHS after he filed a discrimination complaint with an employment tribunal. He then expressed his dismay with the ruling and vowed to appeal against it, the BBC reported. 

A representative from the NHS, on the other hand, said at the time that Board members ought to maintain their standards which include supporting equality and inclusivity.

"While my colleagues are of course entitled to their views that one must be homophobic to disagree with same sex parenting, I am equally entitled to the view that a child needs a mother and a father, and that experimenting with a child is unethical and likely to add to an already unhappy life," Page told the tribunal. "There is a subtle difference between believing that a child should have a mother and a father, and being prejudiced to same sex couples. Sadly I was portrayed as homophobic and I refute this."

The hearing on Page's case is still ongoing.