Steve Weatherbe

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British judge suspended and ‘re-educated’ for thinking children do best with a mom and dad

Steve Weatherbe
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British Justice of the Peace Richard Page

Richard Page, a 68-year-old British Justice of the Peace and evangelical Christian, has been condemned by the country’s highest legal authorities, suspended, and subjected to a day-long re-education session to rid him of the dangerous belief that a child would be better off being adopted by a family with a mother and a father than by a same-sex couple.

Page sat on a family court tribunal last summer to consider a social worker’s recommendation that a foster child be adopted by a gay couple. “I raised some questions in private with the other judges, including that I thought that because a baby comes from a man and a woman it made me think the child would be better off with a father and a mother than with single-sex parents. The other judges didn’t agree at all,” he told LifeSiteNews.

Worse, the other judges complained. A review committee concurred, suspended him from the bench and recommended he be kicked off the lowest rung of the judiciary (but which handles 90 percent of all criminal crime, plus youth and family cases).

“They said I had a closed mind because of my Christian beliefs,” he said. “They said I could not put my Christian beliefs above the rights of single-sex couples. They said I had to open my mind. But I think when you order someone to open their mind, then you are the one with a closed mind.”

In the end, the Lord Chancellor, cabinet minister Chris Grayling, and the Chief Justice John Thomas, decided to issue a reprimand and a day-long re-education order. “Mr. Page, while sitting in Family Court,” it stated in part, “was found to have been influenced by his religious beliefs and not by evidence.” The pair rated his behavior “a serious misconduct” and added, “Mr. Page should have recused himself from the matter.”

But there is evidence that Page is correct. Simon Fraser University economics professor Douglas Allen, for example, studied thousands of homosexual and heterosexual couples drawn at random from Canadian census data to find that a third fewer of the children from same-sex households graduated from high school than those from natural families.

What’s more, when Allen and associates examined the raw data from studies drawing the contrary conclusion, they found it had been wrongly interpreted, and actually supported their own result.  However, Allen acknowledges that many more studies claim to have found no difference in outcomes. But all of these, he argues, are intentionally skewed to get the desired, pro-gay result.

University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus conducted a 2012 study with a smaller sample and concluded adult children of same-sex couples experienced more relational and emotional problems than children of heterosexual couples. 

Page said it was his experience working in the mental health field before becoming a magistrate that “problems caused by childhood experiences often don’t show up until people are in their 40s or 50s.” Since gay couples have only been adopting children for 10 years, there isn’t enough data to reach solid conclusions.

But he doesn’t believe he is guilty of misconduct, or of putting his religious beliefs ahead of the evidence. “What I did was put the interest of the child first. I thought he’d be better off with a mother and father. I put that above the interest of the single-sex couple.”

“My lawyer [Andrea Williams of Christian Concern, a religious rights advocacy group] tells me those who said I have to put the rights of single-sex couples ahead of my faith are wrong. They should be treated as equal. And if we go to the European Court of Justice I will win,” he said.

Williams herself was not so forward about remedies available to Page.  But she said, “This is all deeply disturbing, that Mr. Page is not allowed to consider the best actions for the child, is not allowed to think that a child would do better with a mother and a father.”

As for Page’s retraining session, “it was quite interesting,” he said. “Rather like what you used to hear about Communist countries, all about equity and diversity.”

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