U.K. Magistrate Removed From Office Over ‘Biased’ Comments Against Same-Sex Adoption

Page-compressedKENT, U.K. — A magistrate in the United Kingdom was removed from office on Thursday over comments he made last year expressing that it is best for adoptive children to be placed with a mother and father.

Richard Page, who identifies as a Christian, had been a judge for 15 years and sat on the Family Panel of the Kent Central Magistrates Court.

In 2014, Page had been reprimanded for disagreeing with his colleagues in a homosexual adoption case, being told that he was wrongfully being “influenced by his religious beliefs and not by the evidence.” The magistrate stated that he could not agree that placing a child in a same-sex home was “in the best interest of the child.”

Page was subsequently ordered to undergo re-education training due to his dissent.

Last March, in speaking with the BBC for a segment about religion being stifled in public life, Page told reporters about the incident and why he could not concur with his colleagues.

“My responsibility as a magistrate, as I saw it, was to do what I considered best for the child,” he said in the televised segment, “and my feeling was therefore that it would be better if it was a man and woman who were the adopted parents.”

Page has worked in mental health for 20 years and is a foster parent.

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This week, the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) announced that Page had been removed from the bench over his statement to the BBC.

“The Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice found Mr Page’s comments would have caused a reasonable person to conclude he was biased and prejudiced against single sex adopters; they considered this to be serious misconduct which brought the magistracy into disrepute,” a spokesman said in a statement. “They have therefore removed Mr Page from the magistracy.”

But Page finds the dismissal discriminatory and outrageous.

“As a highly experienced magistrate, I have made judgments on thousands of cases and in each case, have come to my decision based on the evidence, and the evidence alone, placed before me and my colleagues. That is the oath which I took when I became a justice of the peace,” he said in a statement.

“As a magistrate, I have to act on the evidence before me and quite simply, I believe that there is not sufficient evidence to convince me that placing a child in the care of a same-sex couple can be as holistically beneficial to a child as placing them with a mom and dad as God and nature intended,” Page continued. “I am surprised that the Lord Chancellor should seemingly pander to the new political orthodoxy when what it amounts to is social experimentation on the lives of the most vulnerable children in our communities.”

Page is now being represented by the Christian Legal Centre in London and vows to fight his dismissal.

“To punish me and to seek to silence me for expressing a dissenting view is deeply shocking. I shall challenge this decision as it is illiberal and intolerant,” he said. “I cannot believe that the establishment is trying to silence someone like me who has served it wholeheartedly all of my working life.”


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  • MarkT.

    Ah yes, it you don’t tow the PC line, we shall ostracize you from society and silence you while we are at it. If you keep doing it, we will send you to a re-education camp to brainwash you or to a gulag somewhere just like our comrades have done in the USSR, PRC, Cuba and the DPRK.

    • Nick River

      …or re-educate you to realise that there is a larger world out there that contains people that may well jar with your beliefs – but that you treat them equally, not discriminate against them.

      • Carlos

      • The Last Trump

        Um….yes….?
        Another glass of Kool-Aid, Nick?
        Wouldn’t it be something if the liberal left followed their own advice! Wow!
        Yeah. Didn’t think so.

        • Nick River

          You’ve just written four lines of nothing. Very Trump!
          Make sense by citing some examples showing I’m wrong.

    • The Last Trump

      Yes, the blatant intolerance of the “tolerant” ones simply knows no bounds.
      Hard to believe anybody still buys the bs that they keep trying to sell!
      Sadly, facts just don’t seem to matter to some. 🙁

  • Michael C

    It’s one thing to express an opinion (as the headline implies) and another thing entirely to use your official position to deny the rights of others.

    If it is your duty to uphold the law, it is the law alone that informs your professional opinions. A magistrate cannot base their professional actions/opinions/rulings on their personal religious beliefs. Would we find it acceptable for a magistrate to only allow Muslim families with multiple wives to adopt if it was their opinion that this is the best environment for raising children?

    • MarkT.

      So if he was not religious, but an atheist, and still professionally believed that a
      male/female family structure was still best for a child, you would be okay with
      that then? I mean, he would not be influenced by religion by coming to that professional opinion. I think what you are saying is that anyone in the legal realm must hold to the strictest sense of the law when carrying it out. No opinion, one way or the other, must be allowed to influence how the law is carried out in reaching a legal decision. You must check your personal opinions at the door and only allow the law, no matter what it says, to guide you to the proper decision.

      • Michael C

        So if he was not religious, but an atheist, and still professionally believed that a male/female family structure was still best for a child, you would be okay with that then? I mean, he would not be influenced by religion by coming to that professional opinion.

        That would not be a professional opinion, that would be a personal opinion. Let’s say that it was the personal opinion of a magistrate that children do best when raised by adoptive parents of the same race. Would you say that this personal opinion should inform their decision of placing a child with an interracial couple?

        I think what you are saying is that anyone in the legal realm (magistrate or judge) must hold to the strictest sense of the law (as written by man) when carrying it out. No opinion, one way or the other, must be allowed to influence how the law is carried out in reaching a legal decision.

        When certain personal opinions are contrary to the law, no, they cannot influence a legal decision. If the law states that race is in no way a determining factor in who is permitted to adopt, a magistrate’s personal opinion about race and parenting should have nothing to do with the legal decisions they are entrusted with.

        Do you agree with this example?

        • MarkT.

          So, you would be okay with people then changing said adoption law to make it say that race, by force of law now, has to be a determining factor in adoptions. I’ve heard of that happening in the U.K. even. That is, only black people can adopt black children as only they know how to raise a black child. So then by extension, only children born by the natural combination of the genes from one male and one female, can only be adopted by and into, a male+female family structure as that is the natural order of life for humans. Only a human male+female based family structure can bring up a child as you need both (one male and one female) to provide a balanced outlook on life. Let’s see, two ‘husbands’ adopting a female child or two ‘wives’ adopting and raising a male child or vice versa. I don’t see any life balance there.

          Yes, I know that there are single parent families, whether due to the death of one of the two or one splits for whatever reason (i.e. divorce or just runs away) or both dead and the grandparents having to raise them maybe. I know also that there are some human people groups that have different views on how children are to be raised, example “it takes a tribe to raise a child” or only the government (an extended tribe) knows how to raise a child. If the tribe doesn’t like the parents teaching them say Christianity or home schooling them, then they may decide to take your children away from you. I mean to them it’s the tribe that ‘owns’ the children, not the parents.

          • Michael C

            So, you would be okay with people then changing said adoption law to make it say that race, by force of law now, has to be a determining factor in adoptions.

            It is unclear as to whether you read my comment.

            Let’s say that it is the law that race is not a determining factor in who is granted adoption rights.

            Now let’s say that Magistrate Hank Mills thinks that interracial parents can be a detriment to their children.

            Can Magistrate Hank Mills refuse to permit an interracial couple adopt a child on the basis of his personal opinions despite the law?

            (this is not a rhetorical question. if you wish to reply, please supply a ‘yes or no’ answer)

        • MarkT.

          So, it’s only when “certain personal opinions” are not contrary to a law (any law for that matter) that counts? If not, then the magistrate/judge should be totally opinion neutral, not even in private or with their peers should they have or voice an opinion on a particular law. You know, but those blinders on so that you can not be swayed one way or the other by other peoples opinions about a law even while in court. Stick strictly with what the law says and you will not get in trouble with your higher ups, even if a law itself is maybe morally repugnant to you. Again, I would be referring to any law, not just ones that target discrimination. The law is the law, until such time as the lawmakers (we the people) can be persuaded to change it, even if it takes a constitutional amendment to do it.

          • Michael C

            Please respond to the question.

            Should a magistrate be permitted to refuse to place a child with adoptive parents of mixed race if it is their personal opinion that it is best for children to be raised by two parents of the same race?

          • MarkT.

            In your dogmatic legal viewpoint, he can not refuse, but I would put forth that he should be able to request that he be recused from judging on any case that involves a homosexual (going back to the original subject at hand) couple. If his higher-ups refuse to allow him to recuse, then it is time to remove oneself from being in their employment as they have poisoned the working environment with their legal dogmatism.

            BTW, there is only one race, the human race. I personally don’t define race by ones cultural background or the color of their skin or their country of origin. For some reason in the U.K. they legally state that the Welsh and the Irish are a separate race from the English. So, I guess in their legal thinking, I’m of mixed race, since my ancestors were primarily Irish and English of origin.

          • Michael C

            In your dogmatic legal viewpoint, he can not refuse

            Thank you for answering the question and I’m glad that we’re both on the same page.

            …he should be able to request that he be recused from judging on any case that involves a homosexual (going back to the original subject at hand) couple. If his higher-ups refuse to allow him to recuse, then it is time to remove oneself from being in their employment…

            I appreciate the fact that you’re interested in finding solutions rather than just complaining about what you see to be problems.

            Unfortunately, we’ll never know if this situation would have had a different outcome had Page behaved differently.

    • http://www.bing.com/ Martin Smit

      Yeah right. There are no rights being denied here, except the right to judge according to the evidence. The “right” of an all male or all female “couple” to adopt is an imaginary one, and cannot outweigh the right of the child to a mother and a father. The child was conceived with a mother and a father: this is a fact. That circumstance has denied the child both of these, does not mean that the law should support the injustice against him. To deny the child his rights is exactly what the magistrate did not do. If this spoils the dirty fun of the people standing before him that’s just sad. If it offends their brazen conscience, perhaps they should take note.
      The law does not exist in isolation: it must meet facts and evidence. Fact and evidence and truth are all superior to law and to the reams of regulation that pass as law. Forming opinions based on fact is the work of a magistrate: to fail to have opinions is to be ignorant of the facts. While your religion may be based on speculation and tradition, historical Christianity is based on fact.
      The law can not change facts.

    • Jean Adams

      A magistrate isn’t a lawyer. A magistrate is a person from the community who has undergone training to preside over lesser legal cases. It was, in his opinion, that the child was better in a mother father situation. The single sex couple weren’t the issue.

      • Michael C

        A magistrate isn’t a lawyer.

        Correct.

        It was, in his opinion, that the child was better in a mother father situation. The single sex couple weren’t the issue.

        It was his personal opinion that no child should be placed with a gay couple. And, as an agent of the state, he publicly expressed and acted on this opinion.

        I think we can all agree that he would have also been removed from office had he tried to prevent an adoption just because the parents were an interracial couple. I think we can all agree that he would have also been removed from office had he appeared on the BBC as an official agent of the state espousing his personal belief that black parents shouldn’t be permitted to adopt white children.

  • Carlos

    Any group that claims victimhood will eagerly create real victims.
    Nice little ploy.

  • Nick River

    Surely, the magistrate should be considering the individual merits of the actual couple seeking to apply? The troubling thing for me is that the gay couple hoping to adopt had no chance of bring able to do so because of Richard Page’s beliefs, never mind however much a safe, loving home they were aiming to provide. This religious-fuelled homophobic prejudice has to stop and I’m glad action was being taken.

    • MarkT.

      Ah, so you a religion-phobic person then.

      • Nick River

        Yes I am to a certain degree – but my emphasis is on the religion not on the person believing that. The background to my thinking is that so much evil has occurred from people of one religion (or even a different branch of the same religion) thinking that everyone else is wrong and treating them as second-class citizens – sometimes concluding that death for them is best.

    • MarkT.

      And as a Christian, I don’t believe in religion either. Religion is
      man’s attempt to reach God, while Christianity is God reaching out to
      man.

      • Nick River

        I like your thinking, Mark.
        I would only counter that surely that would be Judaism rather than Christianity? After all Jesus was a Jew.

        • MarkT.

          Yes, Judaism was also God reaching out to the Israelite’s. God gave them, through Moses (as written/handed down in the Old Testament law), the way that they were to worship Him.

  • acontraryview

    If he is making legal decisions based upon his personal religious beliefs, then he is indeed not fit to be a magistrate.

  • JustChris1976

    Not easy to be a Christian in post-Christian Europe.

    The seculars will discover that there is another religion that won’t be stomped on the way they stomp on Christianity. When it comes to Muslims vs seculars, put your money on the Muslims. The seculars are basically cowards.

    • Jalapeno

      Secularists can be Christians, too you know.

  • BobM1

    Thinking about Germany in the 1940’s seems to put things into perspective for me. This brave chap can say that he was ‘not just doing his job’

  • Gott Mit Uns!

    Good.

    • Straight Shooter

      Yeah, makes you feel good to see a man fired from his job. What’s the name for that phenomenon of taking pleasure in someone else’s distress?

      • Gott Mit Uns!

        Homophobia.

        • Ken M

          All-purpose answer.

          Simple worldview for the simple.