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Family Court magistrate suspended over gay adoption comments

A Family Court magistrate has been suspended after commenting on the adoption of a child by a gay couple.

In a closed door meeting, Richard Page expressed his belief that the child would be better off “with a mother and father” rather than the gay couple who were seeking the adoption.

He said that when a family is made up of a man, woman and child it is “natural and therefore the others are not”.

The comments were reported to the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO). This is an oversight body which was created in the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. Upon receiving the complaint, the JCIO issued a reprimand.

Mr Page, a Christian father of two, “was found to have been influenced by his religious beliefs and not by the evidence”, the statement continued. This was ruled “serious misconduct” by the JCIO, who suspended him, adding that he should have stepped away from the case.

The suspension will be lifted after Mr Page completes training on equality law. Speaking to The Mail on Sunday, he said there was “tremendous pressure to keep quiet and go along with what is seen to be politically correct”. He added that “everyone else seems to be allowed to stand up for their beliefs except for Christians”.

Mr Page was advised by the campaign group Christian Concern, which wants to see a greater influence of Christianity in government, society and the media. Andrea Williams, head of the group, claimed that Christians needed to be careful for expressing “supposedly controversial things such as children need a mum and a dad” for fear of losing their jobs.

For more information on the JCIO, click here.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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