A Christian magistrate in the UK who was fired from his position due to his opposition to same-sex couples adopting children has criticized the "homosexual agenda" after losing his appeals court case.
Richard Page, 71, sued Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt after he was suspended from his role as a non-executive director at a hospital trust because he said it was better for a child to be brought up by both a man and a woman when considering an application by a same-sex couple to adopt a child.
In addition to his comments about same-sex adoption, Page came under fire after rejecting a claim in a social worker's report that homosexual couples made better adoptive parents than straight couples, and appeared on numerous television programs in an attempt to defend his position.
An employment tribunal this week ruled that the Kent and Medway NHS Trust was justified in refusing to reinstate him, maintaining that he was fired not for his views on gay adoption, but because he participated in television media appearances to discuss his views on parenting.
Page, who had spent nearly 20 years working as a finance director in the National Health Service, told Premier he's committed to continuing his legal fight despite this recent setback, backed by the Christian Legal Centre.
"I am very disappointed by this outcome but I am determined to appeal," he said. "This case is much bigger than me now; it is about how ordinary folk, just like me, are becoming increasingly fearful to speak out against the homosexual agenda."
The BBC reports that after making his comments, Page was fired for serious misconduct from the magistracy by then Justice Secretary Michael Gove and Lord Thomas, who accused him of being "biased and prejudiced against single sex adopters." Page was also suspended from his role as a director of the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust, NHS Trust Development Authority.
Page, who subsequently sued the NHS for discrimination, harassment and victimization for his Christian beliefs under the Equality Act 2010, said he believes "sex outside of marriage is sinful" and that while he's not "anti-gay," it's "a sin to have sex outside of marriage, which necessarily includes all homosexual practices.'
"The Bible states that a God-honoring 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," he said.
"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 strongly believe that it is best for any child to be raised in a traditional family with a mother and a father."
Page emphasized that a child needs the "complementary roles offered by both parents, male and female, psychological as well as physical."
"Consequently, I take a skeptical view of same-sex adoptions, or adoptions by a single person," he said.
On Monday, Andrea Williams of the Centre said that the tribunal's ruling "makes a mockery of the freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and the rule of law."
"There is no real difference between suppressing dissent and suppressing an expression of dissent," she said. "To split hairs in this way makes no sense."
She added, "If the tribunal is suggesting that there are places in which an individual does not enjoy the fundamental right to freedom of religious expression, this is a cause for concern and could have a chilling effect on freedom of belief and expression."