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Objection to gay adopters

This is an interesting news item from PinkNews  (rather than Pink Tape for once)

Allowing same sex couples to adopt was highly controversial and politicised – almost the entire Parliamentary debate about the 2002 Adoption and Children Act was taken up by this sole issue. We have even had a Children’s Minister within this Parliament who is staunchly opposed to it. But it has been law now for 13 years and same sex couples can legally adopt.

This news item relates to a Magistrate hearing a set of care proceedings, and remarking to his colleagues in the retiring room that he would prefer the child to go back to mum and dad than go to a gay adopter.

[Of course, any Magistrate hearing a family case ought to prefer that a child live with birth parents if possible, rather than adopters, but the sexuality of the adopters shouldn’t really be a factor]

The Magistrate was suspended and sent on various awareness courses – I think with mixed success, given what he has to say about the situation now

There is tremendous pressure to keep quiet and go along with what is seen to be politically correct.

“Everyone else seems to be allowed to stand up for their beliefs except for Christians.

“I think there is something about a man, a woman and a baby, that it’s natural and therefore the others are not. That is the comment that I made.

“Therefore, since my task as a magistrate is to do the best for the child, my feeling was, quite reasonably, that a man and a woman would be better.”

 

[Also the fact that he is getting advice from an anti-gay pressure group suggest to me that maybe his diversity training to re-educate him hasn’t completely worked]

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/01/18/family-court-magistrate-suspended-after-objecting-to-gay-parents/

 

It clearly isn’t right for someone with such views to sit on a family case where the issue arises – but is it okay for him to do other cases but recuse himself from any case that involves same sex adopters, or indeed parents?  Or do attitudes of this kind end up colouring your approach on other matters?

For example, might someone with this sort of belief system also take an overly harsh view of a mother who has had an abortion, if the Magistrate holds the view that abortion (though legal) is morally wrong?

It will not be a massive surprise to readers that the comments section on this piece in Pink News reads rather differently to the comments section on the same basic story in the Mail.

I’ve never been in a position of having to give a judgment, and am never likely to be – though if by some clerical error I find myself in the Supreme Court I’m going to choose to be called Lord Vader. I imagine that you must bring something of yourself to the process – Judges aren’t robots – they have human experiences and thoughts of their own. The key is to be able to identify for yourself if you are putting too much weight on feelings rather than facts and evidence and legal principles.

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About suesspiciousminds

Law geek, local authority care hack, fascinated by words and quirky information; deeply committed to cheesecake and beer.

10 responses

  1. Sir Paul Coleridge might be able to assist with this. He believes that family breakdown is Not A Good Thing. Apparently this is controversial.

  2. Sending intelligent adults on awareness courses,or courses purporting to train people not to discriminate against other people due to their sex,sexual préférences,nationality,religion, and most other things is absurd;”Do not discriminate”, is all you need to say and then end the so called course! Someone who hates blacks,gays,and jews,for example will never have their views changed by taking a course they will just learn to conceal them a bit better !

  3. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the magistrate’s views and approach, surely he is accurate in his statement that there is pressure on public figures not to utter anything that is perceived as being contrary to the current trend. And isn’t the practice of sending on courses people who hold what are deemed to be pernicious opinons just a little bit Orwellian?

  4. I don’t think Ive ever spoken to a single person who has children who feels comfortable with gay couples adopting. It is almost universally disliked.

    • Universally is a bit strong, but yes, I imagine that the people who are against it are against it and have their reasons. Probably not something that either camp are going to persuade the other to change views on.

      • Think you’re right. I also believe that if one is unlucky enough to have children adopted it should be possible to block gay couples adopting them.

  5. “his diversity training to re-educate him” sounds like 1984.

    “but is it okay for him to do other cases but recuse himself from any case that involves same sex adopters, or indeed parents? Or do attitudes of this kind end up colouring your approach on other matters?

    For example, might someone with this sort of belief system also take an overly harsh view of a mother who has had an abortion, if the Magistrate holds the view that abortion (though legal) is morally wrong?”…

    You are questioning whether a (maybe even most?) Christians should be able to be magistrates (and presumably judges as well). That is surely as discriminatory as questioning whether a gay person should adopt, or be a magistrate/judge because of his/her’s views of Christians, Muslims, etc would be coloured by his/her beliefs. I suspect a gay magistrate would be as concerned about placing a child with a evangelical Christian couple, as a Christian magistrate would be concerned about placing a child with a gay couple.

    Surely we have to find a way to be a multi-cultural society which doesn’t exclude either followers of major religions or gay people from public life.

    • No, I think you can hold Christian beliefs and values without allowing them to influence your decision-making, if you are placed by the State in a role where you can make decisions about other people’s lives. I’m sure the vast majority of Christian, or Muslim, or gay, Judges and magistrates do exactly that – separate their personal beliefs from the decisions that they have to make.

      The issue comes where you are demonstrating that you as an individual can’t do that, in which case I’d suggest you aren’t a good person to be making such decisions about other people.

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