A Christian magistrate has been removed from his position after he appeared on TV discussing adoption by gay couples.
Richard Page JP was interviewed on BBC Breakfast earlier this week by the BBC. He was featured on the programme because he'd previously refused to agree that placing a child for adoption with a same sex couple was in the child's 'best interests.'
The 69-year-old made that stand in 2014, which led to a disciplinary procedure. He was reinstated to his position but the attention on that case led him to being interviewed this week.
As part of the interview, Page said, "My responsibility as a magistrate, as I saw it, was to do what I considered best for the child, and my feeling was therefore that it would be better if it was a man and woman who were the adopted parents."
This has now seen him 'removed from the magistracy.' A spokesperson for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said, "The Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice found that Mr Page's comments on national television 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. They have therefore removed Mr Page from the magistracy."
The spokesperson then went on to refer to the original case, "In 2014 the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice issued Mr Page with a reprimand after finding that during a Family Court hearing he had allowed himself to be influenced by his religious beliefs and not by the evidence."
The 2002 Adoption and Children Act meant that openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people could legally adopt in the UK. Since then there have been a number of legal cases in which Christian magistrates have opposed the placing of children with gay couples.