By Meg Jalsevac
BRITAIN, November 28, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Andrew McClintock, an 18 year veteran in magistrate court on the South Yorkshire Bench, is suing the British Department for Constitutional Affairs for discrimination against his religious beliefs. McClintock says that he had no option but to resign when his superiors told him that he would not be permitted to refuse to place children in adoptive homes with homosexual parents. McClintock says to do so would directly contradict his Christian beliefs that homosexuality is immoral.
The Civil Partnerships Act was passed in Britain in 2005 and granted legal recognition to same-sex unions. The British government is currently debating instituting Sexual Orientation Regulations which would prevent homosexuals from being discriminated against in the “provision of goods and services”. Among other things, the suggested regulations could require sex education classes in schools to teach heterosexual and homosexual material equally.
When the Civil Partnerships Act was passed last year, McClintock approached his managers to express his concern that homosexual couples would be eligible to adopt and that, to allow so, even unwittingly, would go against his conscience. McClintock claims that his managers ignored his concerns and told him that he would not be able to avoid cases where the adoptive parents were homosexual.
McClintock claims that his managers’ refusal to acknowledge and work with his concerns left him no choice but to resign his job. He said, “I felt pushed into a corner. I wanted to be sure that I was not risking sending children into same-sex households. As that could not be guaranteed, I felt that I must resign rather than act against my conscience, but I was disappointed that no effort was made to accommodate my Christian beliefs.”
McClintock’s case will be heard in an employment tribunal in January where he will be represented by Paul Diamond, the attorney who is also handling the case of Nadia Eweida, the British Airlines employee suspended from her job for wearing a small cross.
McClintock’s attorney will argue that the Employment Equality Regulations of 2003 protects employees like McClintock from discrimination on the grounds of religious belief and that McClintock should not be forced to compromise his conscience in order to continue his work.
Diamond will argue that if McClintock’s right to act according to his conscience is not upheld, people with religious belief will be barred from whole sectors of social and public employment.
Conservatives around the country have voiced their support for McClintock’s position. Andrea Minichiello Williams, a public policy officer for the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, said, “If the Government’s proposed Sexual Orientation Regulations come into force, Mr. McClintock will be joined by thousands of other law-abiding and upstanding citizens forced out of their jobs because their Christian faith and belief in the importance of heterosexual marriage is no longer tolerated by our Government.”
Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, has said that the government’s proposed legislation would infringe on the religious freedom of Britain’s citizens. If the legislation is passed, Catholic adoption agencies could face court battles or possible closure rather than arranging adoption for homosexual couples.
See Related LifeSiteNews Coverage:
Gay Partnerships ‘Harmful’ Says British Muslim Leader
British Airways Denies Appeal from Christian Employee Banned from Wearing Cross
No British Airways Decision Yet On Allowing Christian Employee to Wear Small Cross