Kent

Gay adoption row magistrate Richard Page loses appeal

Richard Page
Image caption Richard Page was removed from the bench in 2016

A former magistrate who rejected an application from a same-sex couple to adopt a child has lost his appeal against a decision to remove him from the bench.

Richard Page, of Headcorn, Kent, had claimed he had been discriminated against at a London tribunal because of his Christian beliefs.

He was sacked from the bench in 2016 after airing his views on television.

An employment appeal tribunal dismissed his appeal.

Paul Diamond, from the Christian Legal Centre, who represented Mr Page, had argued a judge could not be removed because of political pressures.

But the ruling said Mr Page's removal from the magistracy was "a proportionate limitation upon his right to freedom of expression and as such would be regarded as necessary in a democratic society for maintaining the authority or impartiality of the judiciary".

After the hearing, Mr Page said it showed "a deeply intolerant society" and said he planned to appeal.

The hearing had been told Mr Page opposed fellow magistrates over placing a child for adoption with same-sex parents in 2014.

In 2015, he said on BBC Breakfast he believed it would be best for the child to be adopted by a man and a woman.

The appeal hearing was told he was sacked from the bench in 2016 and days later removed from his non-executive director role at an NHS trust.

He later lost employment tribunals over both dismissals.

Mr Page had also appealed against the NHS role decision. In a ruling handed down on Wednesday, that appeal was also dismissed.

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