Now Reading
UK magistrates allowed ‘intolerant views’ about LGBTI issues, judge says

UK magistrates allowed ‘intolerant views’ about LGBTI issues, judge says

Richard Page magistrate intolerant views

A judge has said ‘intolerant views’ about LGBTI issues must be respected after a Christian magistrate has been allowed to appeal his dismissal.

Richard Page was fired from his role by then-Justice Secretary Michael Gove for ‘serious misconduct’ for his comments about same-sex adoption.

The 71-year-old from Kent told a court during a same-sex adoption case that: ‘I hold the view that it is in the best interest of the child to have both a mother and a father, and I believe this to be a lawful and reasonable position for a family court judge to hold.

‘It could be that an adoption by a same-sex couple or a single person is in the best interest of the child, but a report would need to satisfy me of that. I believe this is a reasonable and fair position, and not one of discrimination.’

He later appeared on BBC Breakfast to reiterate those views. Following a complaint from the other two magistrates on the case – who claimed his Christian views influenced his decision – he was dismissed as a magistrate and as executive director at Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust.

‘Intolerant views should be respected’

However, Page is now allowed to contest those dismissals. This means he can take his case against the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice to the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Croydon, South London.

At a hearing before Christmas, Her Honour Judge Katherine Tucker ruled that not only can judges hold ‘intolerant views’ but they should be respected, according to The Telegraph.

She also said judges have a fundamental role in democratic society.

Page commented on the ruling: ‘I am amazed that it has taken so long to get this far. It is vital that we maintain the true independence and impartiality of the judiciary and that ordinary people like me are not excluded from it.’

Magistrates – also called Justices of the Peace – are unpaid volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds and occupations. Their duties include listening to all sides of an argument and contributing to fair and reasonable discussions.

They do not need legal qualifications and deal with over 90% of criminal cases in the UK.

More from Gay Star News: 

Gay Nepal man life ‘at risk’ after being outed in UK courts

Northern Ireland has the lowest same-sex adoption rates in the UK

UK PM wants to ‘de-medicalize’ changing your legal gender