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Christian magistrate can challenge his dismissal over gay adoption comments

February 2019

A Christian former magistrate has won the right to legally challenge his dismissal over remarks he made about same-sex couples adopting children.

Richard Page, from Kent, lost his role after saying in a BBC interview that a child would be better looked after by a man and a woman rather than a gay couple.

His comments came after Mr Page, along with two other Magistrates, considered an application by a same-sex couple to adopt a child in Kent in July 2014.

He was later sacked for ‘serious misconduct’ by the then Justice Secretary Michael Gove and Lord Thomas, who said his comments suggested he was ‘biased and prejudiced against single sex adopters’.

But at a hearing, the former magistrate was granted permission to take his case against the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice to the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Croydon, south London.

Representing Mr Page, barrister Paul Diamond argued that although judges are expected to show restraint while commenting in public, Mr Page’s remarks were well within the bounds of his judicial functions and that Mr Page had therefore been victimised.

Mr Page is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre. Mr Page said: ‘I am amazed that it has taken so long to get this far’.