Magistrate removed over religious opposition to same-sex couples adopting children.
Richard Page, aged 69, expressed his view regarding same-sex couples adopting children, during a BBC interview that was conducted in the year 2015. Now, after almost a year, he got terminated from his position as a magistrate because of that, and that too when he had only a month more to serve. Page strongly believes that it would be best for the children if they are adopted by opposite-sex couples. According to him, as of now, there is not enough evidence to convince him that a child placed in the care of a same-sex couple will benefit holistically as much as that of a child placed in the care of an opposite-sex couple.
Page is also against homosexuality and sex outside marriage. Talking to the Press Association, he said that there is some evidence that shows single-sex couples as good adoptive parents, but there is also evidence that shows that the children brought up by them, upon reaching puberty and teen years tend to have personality disorders and psychological problems. When asked why he talked to BBC, he said he was not talking about any particular case that he had presided over in the family court, but was expressing his personal opinion regarding the subject.
The decision to remove Page from the bench that he had held for 15 years was authorized by Michael Gove, the Justice Secretary, and Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, the Lord Chief Justice. According to thestatement released by the office of Judicial Conduct Investigations, the comments made by Richard Page on national TV bordered on bias and prejudice against same-sex couple adopters. The Lord Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor found this to be a serious misconduct. The statement also cited a reprimand that was given to Page in the year 2014 against a family court hearing that he had presided over in which his ruling was influenced by his religious beliefs, instead of evidence.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, the CEO of the Christian Legal Centre, condemned the decision to terminate Page and called the whole situation as the face of the new political orthodoxy. She said it has become the norm nowadays to crush any opposing views against the system, and punish the people who hold those views. According to her, Page is a very compassionate person who devoted a lifetime of public service. Page has decided to sue Michael Gove, the Justice Secretary, for removing him from the magistracy.
Magistrate sacked over same-sex adoption views plans legal action. https://t.co/9xYH5MhM8U
— Ian Hitchings (@IamIanHitchings) March 14, 2016