Christian magistrate Andrew McClintock awaits religious discrimination appeal verdict

A Christian magistrate forced to resign because he refused to place children for adoption with gay couples was a victim of religious discrimination, an employment appeal tribunal decision has heard.

Andrew McClintock, 63, stood down from hearing family cases in Sheffield after he was refused permission to opt-out of cases which could result in a same-sex adoption.

McClinctock’s barrister, Paul Diamond said his client believed “the best interests of a child are best served by a dual gender upbringing.”

Diamond continued: “A sitting judge was put in the position where he was forced to step down. That can never be acceptable in my position. There cannot be a religious barrier to office – people are religious and do carry their views.”

McClintock lost his claim that he had been discriminated against on grounds of his philosophical and religious beliefs at a tribunal in March year, and yesterday appealed against the decision.

The Department for Constitutional Affairs said the initial tribunal decision was justified as “it was for parliament to set the parameters for who can adopt children.”

The appeal decision is expected to be announced at a later date.

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