UK Tribunal: Christian Judges Must Award Homosexual Couples Adoptive Children or Resign
By Meg Jalsevac
BRITAIN, March 6, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Yesterday, the Employee Tribunal in Sheffield of South Yorkshire county, Britain informed Andrew McClintock that, despite his religious beliefs, he may not refuse to preside over adoption cases that would place a child in a home with homosexual parents. The tribunal also ruled that McClintock had not suffered any religious discrimination, despite the fact that McClintock was forced to quit his job in order to uphold his Christian conscience.
In his case, McClintock argued that, not only did his orders compromise his Christian beliefs, but they would compel him to act against what he thought to be in the best welfare of the child. He argues that he had no choice but to resign.
The tribunal’s ruling says, "If a judge personally has particular views on any subject, he or she must put those views to the back of his or her mind when applying the law of the land impartially."
After the Civil Partnerships Act was passed in 2005, McClintock requested that he be excused from cases involving adoption by homosexual couples because, not only did homosexual adoption contradict his religious beliefs, he thought that placing a child in such a home would be removing them from "one kind of harm only to face another hazard."
As previously reported by LifeSiteNews, McClintock resigned his job in 2005 after he was informed by his managers that he would not be permitted to excuse himself from specific cases. McClintock had served as a magistrate judge in Britain’s Sheffield County for 18 years.
McClintock took legal action against the British Department for Constitutional Affairs suing them for religious discrimination. McClintock’s attorneys argued that his request to be excused from certain specific cases should be permitted under Regulation 10 of the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003.
McClintock’s attorneys also utilized expert witness testimony in the case which claimed that "there was little research into the effect of same-sex nurture on children’s development, and that what had been established was worrying."
After hearing of the tribunal’s verdict McClintock said, "More needy children will be fuelling this experiment in social science and suffering what the experts call mother-hunger or father-hunger. This ruling is going to make it harder for many conscientious people - whether they are [Justices of the Peace] in the family court, or otherwise involved with children, or maybe with different matters of conscience.
He continued, "Anyone who holds seriously to the traditional morals and family values of Jews, Christians or Muslims will think twice before taking on such a job."
A spokesman for the gay rights group Stonewall was quoted in a BBC article commenting on the recent ruling said, "We are not surprised at the outcome and the tribunal’s decision made it clear that people in public service cannot pick and choose which laws they comply with. While not disrespecting anyone’s private religious views, all public figures have to work within the legislation and in these cases in the best interests of the children involved."
Andrea Williams of the Lawyers Christian Fellowship, on the other hand, condemned the ruling saying, "This case is a clear picture of how Christian faith is becoming privatized in society. It is yet another example of the repression of Christian conscience and signals the prevalence of a secular ‘new morality’ and the erosion of Christian values at the expense of our children’s welfare."
Britain is rife with similar controversy as the British government prepares to introduce new guidelines and legislation to the already present Sexual Orientation Regulations of 2003. According to the website Christian Concern For Our Nation the new legislation, "will make it illegal for providers of goods, services, facilities, premises, education or public functions to discriminate against the recipients on the grounds of their sexual orientation i.e. whether they are homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual.
Among other things, the legislation would make it mandatory for schools to teach homosexuality as equal to heterosexuality. Private venues would not be allowed to refuse their services to groups promoting homosexuality. Adoption agencies, regardless of religious affiliation, would be mandated to facilitate homosexual adoption.
Archbishop Nichols of Birmingham delivered a harsh criticism of governmental entities in a recent sermon, "It is simply unacceptable to suggest that the resources of faith communities, whether in schools, adoption agencies, welfare programmes, halls and shelters can work in co-operation with public authorities only if the faith communities accept not simply a legal framework but also the moral standards at present being touted by the Government."
Nichols has threatened that all Catholic adoption agencies will close down if the legislation is approved.
See Previous LifeSiteNews.com Coverage:
Catholic Church will Drop Schools, Charities and Adoption Agencies if Laws Force Homosexuality, UK Archbishop Warns