A Christian magistrate who was told he could not opt out of homosexual adoption cases has lost his appeal.
Having lost an initial hearing at an employment tribunal in Sheffield earlier in 2007, Mr McClintock took his case against the Department for Constitutional Affairs to appeal in London.
However, the Employment Appeal Tribunal found that the Department for Constitutional Affairs had not acted unlawfully and that Mr McClintock had not suffered discrimination on grounds of his religious beliefs.
Mr McClintock intends to appeal this decision.
You can read the full judgement of the appeal tribunal as a PDF file. Here is the official summary:
The appellant was a Justice of the Peace. He sat on the Family Panel which, inter alia, places children for adoption. He objected to the possibility that he might be required to place a child with a same sex couple. The reason he gave was that he considered that there was insufficient evidence that this was in the child’s best interests and he felt that children should not be treated like guinea pigs in the name of politically correct legislation.
He asked to be relieved from hearing cases which might raise these issues. Representatives of the respondent refused to allow this and he resigned from the Family Panel. He complained that this was both direct and indirect discrimination and harassment, contrary to the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003.
The Tribunal found that on the facts there was no unlawful conduct of any kind. He had not indicated that his objections were rooted in any religious or philosophical belief. There was in fact no direct or indirect discrimination for religious or philosophical reasons, nor any evidence of harassment. Even if there were a criterion adversely impacting on the appellant, the respondent was justified in requiring him to carry out the full duties of the office in accordance with his judicial oath.
The EAT rejected the appeal. The case was dismissed largely on the facts, but in addition the Tribunal was fully entitled to find that any indirect discrimination was justified.
Press coverage of the decision:
Daily Telegraph Jonathan Petre Magistrate loses gay adoption appeal
Religious Intelligence Nick McKenzie Christian Magistrate to appeal after losing tribunal case