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Christian Magistrate Appeals over Gay Adoption Ruling

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Issued on behalf of Andrew McClintock, JP

Press Release

For Immediate Release

October 22, 2007

Christian Magistrate Appeals over Gay Adoption Ruling

A CHRISTIAN magistrate is to appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (a division of the High Court) today (22/10/07) after a Sheffield Tribunal failed to consider expert scientific evidence on the 'experimental nature' of Adoptions into same sex households.

Andrew McClintock, 63, and a magistrate for 18 years on the South Yorkshire Bench, became the first judge in the land to take the Lord Chancellor to court in January. He claimed he was forced to resign from the Court's Family Panel after court managers failed to make reasonable accommodation of his religious and philosophical beliefs on same sex adoption cases in which he might be asked to officiate.

Mr McClintock had told them he could not make an order for a child to be raised by two same-sex parents as there was scientific evidence to suggest this was not in their best interests, and, as a Christian, he felt making such a decision would go against his conscience. He asked court staff to screen his cases so that other magistrates could preside over such cases.

When court managers refused, he was forced to resign. In January, an Employment Tribunal sitting in Sheffield considered his case but refused to accept the Court had acted unreasonably.

Mr McClintock claims the Tribunal failed to consider expert evidence provided by Professor Dean Byrd, President of the Thrasher Research Fund, and Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Utah School of medicine. Dr Byrd is also Vice president and standing psychologist to the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), the foremost research body in the USA on the subject matter of medical and social study of homosexuality. Professor Dean Byrd told the court that there was substantial evidence to support Mr McClintock's conviction that ordering a child to be raised by a same-sex couple was not in their 'best interests'. The Court also failed to take into account other legal precedents in Mr McClintock’s favour.

As the Court also failed to give any consideration to accommodate his religious beliefs, Mr McClintock believes it has created a precedent which will eventually see Christians forced out of serving in public office if they stand up for their convictions.

Andrea Williams, Christian Law Centre comments Mr McClintock  was seeking to act in ' the best interests of the child'   and should be commended, not punished.  He was not seeking to change the law but to be free to express his orthodox views – held by many- within it. It is vital we seek to protect Mr McClintock and leave room in public life for men and women of Christian faith. 

The case is expected to last one day.


For further information:

Andrew McClintock 0114 258 3707, 077263 72454; Paul Eddy (Media advisor) 0115 922 2041, 07932 019 430;

Andrea Minichiello Williams (Christian Law Centre) 0771 259 1164.

Editor's Note:

The appeal is technically being made on the legal grounds that Mr McClintock was prevented from acting in the best interests of the child in accordance with the International Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Children's Act, and a failure by Court Managers to accommodate religious belief.


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