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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 October 2007, 12:57 GMT
Gay couple adoption appeal lost
Andrew McClintock
Andrew McClintock said he was concerned about children's welfare
An ex-magistrate who says he was forced to resign because he would not place children for adoption with gay couples has lost his appeal.

Andrew McClintock, 63, of Sheffield, claimed he was discriminated against for his Christian beliefs.

An employment appeal tribunal heard Mr McClintock believed gay adoption was an "experiment in social science".

He said he was "deeply disappointed" with the decision, but would now take his fight to the Court of Appeal.

New laws

Mr McClintock stood down from dealing with family cases in Sheffield after he was refused permission to opt-out of cases which could result in a same-sex adoption.

The father-of-four, who was a member of the Christian People's Alliance Council, had served as a magistrate in the family courts in Sheffield for 15 years, but the new civil partnership laws meant he could have inadvertently sanctioned the removal of a child from its natural family to be placed in the care of a gay couple.

He said this contradicted both his personal religious beliefs and his duty as a magistrate.

His appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal, a division of the High Court, followed a Sheffield employment tribunal's refusal to accept the Magistrates' Court had acted unreasonably.

'Deeply disappointed'

Now Mr McClintock has instructed his barrister to file papers for a hearing in the Court of Appeal.

He said: "I am deeply disappointed with the appeal's decision.

"For 18 years my Christian beliefs have been well known to both my fellow magistrates and to court officials and it was no surprise to them that when the Civil Partnerships Act enabled same-sex couples to adopt and become foster carers, I was simply seeking some form of recusal from cases where I would be forced to act contrary to my conscience."

Mr McClintock's appeal is likely to be heard in the New Year.

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22 Oct 07 |  South Yorkshire
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24 Jan 07 |  UK Politics
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24 Jan 07 |  South Yorkshire

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