Magistrate defends Christian views at tribunal

A Christian magistrate who was sacked for opposing adoption by same-sex couples has told an employment tribunal that he was “judging what’s best for the child”.

Richard Page was removed from his office by the Lord Chancellor following a media interview in 2015, during which he shared his conviction that children do best when they are brought up by a man and a woman.

Mr Page, who served as a magistrate for 15 years, has described his removal as “illiberal and intolerant” and is now suing for religious discrimination.

Mother and father

He told the employment tribunal in South London that while he respects people who have other opinions, he is “entitled to the view that a child needs a mother and a father”.

“Sadly I was portrayed as homophobic and I refute this…I am not judging the people, I’m judging what’s best for the child.”

Mr Page is being supported in his case by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC).

‘Opposing views’

Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of the CLC, said: “The Lord Chancellor has removed Richard from the magistracy for allegedly being ‘prejudiced’ and for speaking out in the media about what has happened to him.

“This unmasks the face of the new political orthodoxy; it is unkind. It tries to silence opposing views and if it fails it crushes and punishes the person who holds those views.

“To remove someone like Richard from the bench is modern-day madness. He has a lifetime of public service and expertise in mental health. He is motivated by his Christian faith and a deep compassion for people.”

The tribunal will decide whether or not Mr Page can appeal the decision to remove him from office.

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