A British magistrate who was barred from a senior directorship for asserting that adopted children thrive with the presence of a mother and a father has been granted permission to appeal his case. Richard Page was stripped of his magistrate position and directorship in the National Health Service after it became clear that he held traditional views about the family unit.
What is the background?
In 2014, during a closed-door consultation with two colleagues, Page expressed his personal view that, whenever possible, children do the best when placed with both a mother and father. Despite having an impeccable 15-year record as a magistrate, Page was reported to the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice and subsequently disciplined. He was told that he was being “discriminatory against same-sex couples,” and was barred from sitting on the magistrates’ bench until he completed additional “equality training.”
Richard defended his actions in TV interview: “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 adoptive parents,” he said, according to Premier UK.
In addition, the disciplinary panel received just one complaint against Page, along with over 6,000 emails of support. But none of that mattered in the end. He was removed from the magistracy in 2016 — and they didn’t stop there. Because of his admitted position on matters of family, he was also removed from his financial directorship with the NHS as it was “not in the interests of the health service,” according to those in charge of his disciplinary.
Appeal finally granted
Page took up his case with an employment tribunal in February 2018, but the tribunal upheld the original decision. Finally, however, UK-based watchdog Christian Concern has reported that Page’s appeal against this has been granted, and he will be able to take his case forward to the most senior judges in England and Wales.
Honour Judge Katherine Tucker allowed Richard’s appeal to proceed, noting that judges are allowed to hold their own personal view on these issues.
“I am amazed that it has taken so long to get this far,” Page said following the ruling, according to Christian Concern. “It is vital that we maintain the true independence and impartiality of the judiciary and that ordinary people like me are not excluded from it.”
Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting Mr. Page, said that this was an “important moment, shining a light on how justice is done in our country.”
“Even the top judges in the land should not be beyond proper scrutiny and we are glad to see Richard’s claim go forward,” Minichiello added. “It was always disproportionate to remove a kind-hearted and long-serving public servant like Richard from his position simply because of the way that he expressed his beliefs.
Faithwire will keep you updated with this shocking case as it moves forward.