UK – A Christian magistrate fined for saying it was better for children to be brought up by a mother and father rather than a gay couple loses the battle to win back his job.


A magistrate who was sacked for saying it was better for children to be bought up by a Mother and Father rather than a gay couple has lost a legal battle to keep his job with the NHS.

Richard Page, 71, sued Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt after he was suspended from his role as a non-executive director at a hospital trust following complaints from gay and lesbian staff.

An employment tribunal has now ruled that the Kent and Medway NHS Trust was justified in refusing to reinstate him after he had expressed his views on television last year.

Andrea Williams from the Christian Legal Centre, which has been supporting the 71-year-old, told Premier: “Simply for holding a perfectly lawful view, a view that many people would hold up and down the country, this gentleman finds himself removed from public office.”

Mr Page brought his claim against the NHS Trust Development Authority before the Croydon Employment Tribunal in August this year after he was suspended in March 2016.

The Trust asserted to the Tribunal that comments Mr Page gave to the media last year about his views on family life “undermined” the confidence of staff.

Vowing to take his case to an Employment Appeal Tribunal, Mr Page said: “I am very disappointed by this outcome but I am determined to appeal.

“This case is much bigger than me now; it is about how ordinary folk, just like me, are becoming increasingly fearful to speak out against the homosexual agenda.”

Mr Page first attracted media attention when comments he made in a closed-door meeting while serving as a magistrate during an adoption case were picked up by a national newspaper.

Accused of being “biased and prejudiced against single-sex adopters”, Mr Page was sacked from the Magistracy by Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice, for serious misconduct.

Mr Page, who fostered children for 15 years, had spent nearly 20 years working as a finance director in the National Health Service.

Passing their judgement, a three-person panel at Croydon Employment Tribunal said Mr Page was not removed from his position for holding or expressing certain views, but that he had given media appearances without informing the Trust.

Mrs Williams also said: “If the tribunal is suggesting that there are places in which an individual does not enjoy the fundamental right to freedom of religious expression, this is a cause for concern and could have a chilling effect on freedom of belief and expression.”

 

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