Christian magistrate Richard Page, 69, has been suspended as a non-executive director of an NHS trust.
Earlier this year, he had been removed by the Lord Chancellor for his traditional biblical beliefs about marriage and family life. He had served 15 years on the Kent magistrates’ bench, as a justice of the peace.
According to a statement from the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), which is supporting Mr Page, he was told by the NHS Trust Development Authority that they were considering ‘whether it is in the interests of the health service’ for him to remain in his post.
Initiating the sequence of events which led to his suspension, Andrew Ling, chairman of the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust, wrote to the NHS Trust Development Authority asking them to consider suspending Mr Page after his removal by the Lord Chancellor.
In the letter Mr Ling claimed Mr Page’s comments, and continuance as a trust member would have a major impact on staff, patients and ‘the perception of living the trust values’.
Mr Page, from Ashford, came to the attention of the judicial authorities in late 2014, when he was challenged by seniors after hearing an adoption case. Mr Page could not agree with his fellow magistrates placing a child into the care of a same-sex couple was ‘in the child’s best interest’.
He was subsequently reported for his actions, reprimanded and forced to attend ‘re-education training’, which he duly did. Andrea Minichiello Williams, of CLC, says: ‘It is time for MPs to take serious note and look afresh at the equality legislation, which was badly drafted and consistently gives more rights to some groups over those of the Christian faith’.