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Chamber of Debate

ADOPTION - same-sex couples

Gay couple adoption appeal lost

An ex-magistrate who says he was forced to resign because he would not place children for adoption with gay couples has lost his appeal.

Andrew McClintock, 63, of Sheffield, claimed he was discriminated against for his Christian beliefs.

An employment appeal tribunal heard Mr McClintock believed gay adoption was an "experiment in social science".

He said he was "deeply disappointed" with the decision, but would now take his fight to the Court of Appeal.

New laws

Mr McClintock stood down from dealing with family cases in Sheffield after he was refused permission to opt-out of cases which could result in a same-sex adoption.

The father-of-four, who was a member of the Christian People's Alliance Council, had served as a magistrate in the family courts in Sheffield for 15 years, but the new civil partnership laws meant he could have inadvertently sanctioned the removal of a child from its natural family to be placed in the care of a gay couple.

He said this contradicted both his personal religious beliefs and his duty as a magistrate.

His appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal, a division of the High Court, followed a Sheffield employment tribunal's refusal to accept the Magistrates' Court had acted unreasonably.

'Deeply disappointed'

Now Mr McClintock has instructed his barrister to file papers for a hearing in the Court of Appeal.

He said: "I am deeply disappointed with the appeal's decision.

"For 18 years my Christian beliefs have been well known to both my fellow magistrates and to court officials and it was no surprise to them that when the Civil Partnerships Act enabled same-sex couples to adopt and become foster carers, I was simply seeking some form of recusal from cases where I would be forced to act contrary to my conscience."

Mr McClintock's appeal is likely to be heard in the New Year.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/10/31 12:57:01 GMT

Vote: Should same-sex couples be prevented from adopting children?

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Members Comments

Page 1 of 21 2NextRecords Per Page
AndrewSlade 3-Sep-2009 11:46
This is wrong, in my opinion
MGN2009 3-Jun-2009 22:59
A magistrate should not bring personal feeling/religion into their work. The decision should have been based on the best interests of the child
JimBWarrior 18-May-2009 17:43
Sexual deviants should not be able to grow Children into their ways.
GWilliy 7-Jan-2009 22:42
This reinforces my views given on the simialar question up for discussion "ADOPTION - an unnecessarily lengthy process?"

to which my answer was:-
"Simply another example of the nanny state poking it's nose in where it's neither wanted or required.

The Next of Kin should/relatives should be encouraged & empowered to select or accept potential foster parents. Then there would be less chance of the adopted child being completely removed from biological relatives.

A simple law criminalising the adoption of children for personal or immoral gain should be enough to prevent the Fagins and the vigil of concerned citizens/other parents should be enough to alert existing welfare groups if the child is mistreated."

I would only add here that I feel it should be discouraged but not outlawed.

IMHO :-)
Recyclotron 25-Mar-2008 17:24
The primary purpose of legislation is to protect the individual. The law allows same sex couples to adopt as the legislators feel this is in the best interests of children who are to be adopted.

Some people may find homosexuality difficult to accept in others, but to legislate on the basis of emotion in order to restrict the rights of others and to discriminate against them could lead to a very unhealthy society.

If most people didn't like jazz would it be right to ban jazz musicians from being prospective adoptive parents?
Anselm 19-Mar-2008 19:18
Same-sex couples should not be allowed to adopt, and this is not just due to my Christian beliefs.

Men and women are different for starters, and give a different outlook to a child's life - they each supply a child with certain qualities. Make this two of the same sex and you've got more similar qualities. I'm not saying this is the case in all cases, but this is likely and every child, in my opinion, has a right to a mother and father.

Catholic (etc) adoption agencies also have a right to control who they will allow to adopt, and if their consciences tell them that they should not, they should not be made prisoners of conscience.
Wildgoose 19-Mar-2008 19:3
A better question might be: Should the State be allowed to bring up children seeing as it does such a palpably bad job - the children in it's "care" having lower educational attainment, and higher prostitution, criminality and drug use than average.
estivboy 22-Dec-2007 19:42
No and I don't see why not. Are people informed in their opinions of homosexuality by religious dogma and is that the only basis of their objections? What would our views be if the great religions were pro homosexuality? There are no qualifications required for having a child and no evidence that same sex couples would be any worse at the same job. All we can ensure is that the couple are suitable for adoption under the normal rules that apply in these cases. As for the removal of the magistrate? As an impartial magistrate his job is to interpret the law and apply those laws. He was removed for failing to do his job and for questioning civil partnership laws, which is not his right. For some reason people think that just because they believe in a 'moral' position that gives them this right. There is application for this in the armed forces but this is if you believe that you are being ordered to commit a criminal act. So, well I’m sorry but I expect a magistrate to remember the separation of the powers of church judiciary and parliament and act accordingly.
a1an 25-Nov-2007 19:46
How many Muslim magistrates are there?

I can't believe they would favour same sex couples adopting and if they acted as did Mr McClintock would they be forced from office?

I doubt it.
Andromeda 6-Nov-2007 7:45
Obviously the magistrate thought it is quite wrong for same-sex couples to adopt. The question of whether he should have been allowed to opt out of deciding on cases of gay adoption could be asked, but it would not be as interesting a question, would it?
All comments are subject to approval.

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