Christian NHS Director sues after being sacked over comments on same sex adoption

A former NHS director who was sacked for speaking out against gay adoption has claimed he is being ‘ousted from public service’ for being a Christian.

Richard Page, is bringing a religious discrimination case against the NHS Trust Development Authority after being sacked for comments he made as a magistrate.

Today, he told an employment tribunal “sex outside of marriage is sinful”.

He claimed that he was not anti-gay but that: “It is a sin to have sex outside of marriage, which necessarily includes all homosexual practices.”

He was suspended as a director of the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust after he claimed it was better for a child to be brought up by both a man and a woman.

Richard Page. A former NHS director who was sacked for speaking out against gay adoption has claimed he is being ‘ousted from public service’ for being a Christian.

Mr Page, 71, made the controversial comments in his role as a magistrate when considering an application by a same-sex couple to adopt a child.

He rejected the claim submitted in a social worker’s report that homosexual couples made better adoptive parents than straight couples.

Last year, he appeared on numerous television programmes in an attempt to defend his position.

On one appearance on ITV’s This Morning where he declared that he was opposed to gay marriage, the presenter, Piers Morgan, accused him of being a homophobe, a claim Mr Page denied.

Later, he was then sacked for serious misconduct from the magistracy by then Justice Secretary Michael Gove and Lord Thomas who said his comments suggested he was “biased and prejudiced against single sex adopters”.

A few days later the NHS Trust Development Authority suspended him from his role at Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust.

He claims that he has been barred from public duty for being a good Christian.

Mr Page is now suing the NHS for discrimination, harassment and victimisation for his Christian beliefs under the Equality Act 2010.

Mr Page, who had served as a magistrate for 15 years, submitted in a witness statement to Croydon Employment Tribunal that the reason for his rejection of the gay couple’s application was that he did not find the social worker’s argument ‘persuasive’.

He also noted that the couple were attempting to adopt in England to sidestep legislation in their own country – something he described as ‘adoption shopping’.

In his statement Mr Page said: ”The Bible states that a God-honouring relationship is for one man and one woman to be united in the life-long union of marriage.

”God encourages procreation in the context of this relationship. Sex outside of marriage is sinful and against the will of God.

”I have been questioned about my Christian beliefs in the media. Piers Morgan was the most hostile interviewer, and he accused me of being homophobic.

”I told him clearly that I am not homophobic. It is not a sin to be a homosexual; it is a sin to have sex outside of marriage, which necessarily includes all homosexual practices.

”I am a sinner too, and in need of God’s grace, for the Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

”I strongly believe that it is best for any child to be raised in a traditional family with a mother and a father.

Richard Page. A former NHS director who was sacked for speaking out against gay adoption has claimed he is being ‘ousted from public service’ for being a Christian.

”I believe God had good reasons to make the family include both a man and a woman, not just because the child physically needs both, but also because of the respective ways men and women think.

”The child needs the complementary roles offered by both parents, male and female, psychological as well as physical. Consequently, I take a sceptical view of same-sex adoptions, or adoptions by a single person.”

He added: ”My career as a Magistrate, and my career as an NHS Director, were both devoted to public service.

”I exercised all my duties properly, according to the law and my conscience, and not according to any ideology.

”It is precisely for that reason that I was subjected to a campaign for vilification and victimisation, of which the removal from NHS directorship is only one example.

”I believe that illustrates a very worrying state of affairs in the society, and I do not resile from anything I have said publicly about this situation.

”On the contrary, further victimisation by the NHS only illustrates my point.

“I have been ousted from every venue of public service for no other reason than that, as a good Christian, I have always endeavoured to do my duty in good conscience.”

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3 Responses

  1. Revd A K Royle

    Maintaining consistency of faith and belief is a fundamental human right and to express one’s belief publicly is a right of free speech. These rights must be defended by society for all peoples of all faiths and none. To require one’s personal beliefs to over-ride civil law is however not acceptable. It is therefore be wrong of Richard Page to discriminate against adoption by a couple based on his ethical position in relation to gender when the law requires us to treat all people equally irrespective of gender. We must therefore accept the reasonableness of the decision of the authorities to censure him for practicing inequity in handling the issue as a magistrate, while still defending his right to express his views as a practising Christian of a particular traditional conservatism in regard to sin, sex and marriage. It is hard for any person of strong beliefs to have to live under law which differs from them and then have act in accordance with that law which conflicts with his personal ethics. That is the requirement placed on many people in our society today. If we want a pluralistic society which is tollerant of all we need to handle these issues carefully and considerately. There has been a seismic shift of the law in relation to equality, gender, marriage and adoption in recent years. It will take many years for everyone to adjust to the right balance between expressing ones views that differ from the current politically correct ones and acting justly in accordance with the law, as currently applied.

    1. Rick Worth

      I mostly agree with the excellent comment. I would mildly disagree that his view is one of ethics. It is purely religious. They are different things, in my view. But if it is too difficult to separate one’s personal religious beliefs from the secular law, then it is best not to be a magistrate.

  2. David Marchesi

    Being of a similar bent (ha! ha!) as this gent, I think it is fair to ihope that a good public servant can function even in this pseudo-secular UK of today (I shall not elaborate on why I consider the UK to be only pseudo-secular) The answer in this case, like that which, I suppose, applies, say, to medical staff who refuse to take part in abortions, is to seek another magistrate/NHS director (!!???) who is prepared to sanction personally anything the State demands.
    Next stop: opponents of euthanasia will be banned from the magistracy, and sacked as NHS directors (!!!???)

    Incidentally, there is far, far too much emphasis on very, very individual ,formal rights and too little on common sense duties -this is reflected in widespread political apathy and the general dissolution of “society” (the un-real construct of the loonie left, according to Mrs Thatcher) Libertarianism running amuck.
    It is wrong of the State to sanction Mr Page in any way for his un-extreme principles.

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