UK

Richard Page, Christian Magistrate, Struck Off For 'Prejudiced Views' Against Gay Parents Trying To Adopt

10/03/2016 22:43 GMT | Updated 10/03/2016 22:59 GMT

A Christian magistrate from Kent was struck from the bench on Thursday after appearing on national TV last year to voice his opposition to adoption by same-sex parents.

Richard Page was sacked for his “prejudiced" views after appearing on the BBC in March, 2015, telling the interviewer that “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."

On Thursday, the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office concluded those comments suggest Page is “biased and prejudiced against single sex adopters" and ended his service.

Page was previously censured in 2014 for being "influenced by his religious beliefs and not by the evidence" after suggesting at an adoption hearing that it would be better if a child were not places with same-sex parents. The 69-year-old was sent for retraining.

Reacting to Thursday's decision, the pensioner bemoaned the ruling as "intolerant" and accused the government of "pandering to the new political orthodoxy".

"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 said.

"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."

Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting Page, said their client was being used to make a “political statement," decrying the decision as "modern day madness.”