Christian Magistrate Fired for Views on Gay Adoption Loses Court Appeal

richard-page
 Former Magistrate Richard Page

A Christian magistrate who was fired from his job after he voiced belief that adopted children are better off with hetrosexual couples instead of same-sex couples has lost a court appeal against his former employer.

An employment tribunal in the United Kingdom has ruled that the Kent and Medway National Health Service Trust was justified for refusing to reinstate Richard Page, a 71-year-old non-executive director, after he was suspended for suggesting on national television that children do best when placed with a mom and dad rather than when they are adopted by a same-sex couple.  

The U.K. Christian news outlet Premier reports that Page worked for the NHS for two decades but that all changed after the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) requested that the NHS Trust Development Authority suspend Page over comments made on BBC defending his views on parenting.

Page was accused of being “biased and prejudiced against single sex adopters.” 

The U.K. Christian news outlet Premier reports that Page worked for the NHS for two decades but that all changed after the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) requested that the NHS Trust Development Authority suspend Page over comments made on BBC defending his views on parenting.

Page was accused of being “biased and prejudiced against single sex adopters.”   

According to the news outlet, a three-judge panel at the Croydon Employment Tribunal ruled that Page was removed from his position because he participated in television media appearances to defend his views on parenting. The panel maintained that Page was not removed because of his beliefs on adoption.

“I am very disappointed by this outcome but I am determined to appeal,” Page told Premier. “This case is much bigger than me now; it is about how ordinary folk, just like me, are becoming increasingly fearful to speak out against the homosexual agenda.”

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which advocates for Page, said the ruling “makes a mockery of the freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and the rule of law.”

“There is no real difference between suppressing dissent and suppressing an expression of dissent. To split hairs in this way makes no sense,” Williams said in a released statement.

“Judgments like this do enormous damage to people’s confidence in the administration of justice.”

As previously reported, Page worked for the courts at Maidstone and Sevenoaks for over 15 years and worked at the NHS Trust for nearly 20.

“My responsibility as a magistrate, as I saw it, was to do what I considered best for 

the child, and my feeling was therefore that it would be better if it was a man and woman who were the adopted parents,” Page told BBC in 2015.

He stepped down from a full-time role at the trust in 2012 but worked in a part-time non-executive role and was removed in March 2016.

The NHS Trust Development Authority ruled that the media appearance that Page gave last year defending his beliefs on adoption and family life “undermined” the confidence of staff. According to the Daily Mail, Page was suspended after complaints from gay and lesbian staff at the trust.

“Simply for holding a perfectly lawful view, a view that many people would hold up and down the country, this gentleman finds himself removed from public office,” Williams told Premier’s Alex Williams in an interview.

Williams explained how Page found himself in this situation.

“For expressing behind closed doors the view that children do best when raised with a mom and dad, [Page] found himself being reported by fellow magistrates for something he had said in a retiring room, which led to him being removed from the bench of the Family Magistrates Court,” Williams said.

“As a result of that publicity, a complaint came in to the NHS Kent Trust from the LGBT group within the NHS Trust complaining about his presence as a non-executive director in the Kent Trust. As a result of that complaint, he was warned and finally removed from his position as a non-executive director.”

Williams argued that what has happened to Page is equivalent to “bullying” and “harassment.”

“It’s a very chilling case and one that is vital to take further and one that is vital to appeal through the system,” she added.

“The freedom to believe, the freedom to express belief is very important and we as Christian believers have to believe that and we won’t stop until justice is done. If we are not getting justice in court, then what we want to do is reveal. We want to show that this is what is happening in Great Britain today and we are hoping and we are praying that many people will get behind Richard Page and the many others like him who are experiencing similar things.”

Written by By Samuel Smith 

University Bans Research Into Transgender Surgery Regrets

Previous research findings — much of it on the brain — have led some to conclude that being transgender is not a choice. But not all researchers are on board with that conclusion.

A public university in the United Kingdom has refused to allow a researcher to look into cases of people who regretted having gender reassignment surgery and transitioned back to living as their birth sex. The university says such a study “may be detrimental to the reputation of the institution,” according to a report.

James Caspian, a psychotherapist, proposed to do the study for a master’s degree in counselling and psychotherapy at Bath Spa University, but was refused permission, according to The Sunday Times.

The university explained that the potentially “politically incorrect” research could be criticized on the internet and thereby harm the reputation of the institution.

Bath Spa is violating “the most basic tenets of academic and intellectual freedom of enquiry,” Caspian, who specializes in therapy for transgender people, tells the Times.

Caspian’s proposal was initially approved by the university, but he couldn’t find people willing to take part in it. He then asked if he could change the proposal to include women who had transitioned to men and reverted to living as women without reversing their surgery. The university told Caspian that he would need to write a new proposal to its ethics sub-committee, which rejected the request.

The rejection slip stated, “Engaging in a potentially ‘politically incorrect’ piece of research carries a risk to the university. Attacks on social media may not be confined to the researcher but may involve the university.”

A recent report written by three well-respected medical experts and scholars questioned the safety and effectiveness of pressuring gender-confused children to undergo “radical” and “experimental” puberty-blocking hormone therapy even though the treatment and its side-effects haven’t yet been adequately researched by the science and medical communities.

James Caspian, a psychotherapist, proposed to do the study for a master’s degree in counselling and psychotherapy at Bath Spa University, but was refused permission, according to The Sunday Times.  The report, Growing Pains: Problems With Puberty Suppression in Treating Gender Dysphoria, argued that while puberty suppression therapy through hormone intervention is increasingly being recommended for children with gender dysphoria and at younger ages, there is little evidence that shows that puberty suppression is “reversible, safe, or effective for treating gender dysphoria.”

The university explained that the potentially “politically incorrect” research could be criticized on the internet and thereby harm the reputation of the institution.

Bath Spa is violating “the most basic tenets of academic and intellectual freedom of enquiry,” Caspian, who specializes in therapy for transgender people, tells the Times.

Caspian’s proposal was initially approved by the university, but he couldn’t find people willing to take part in it. He then asked if he could change the proposal to include women who had transitioned to men and reverted to living as women without reversing their surgery. The university told Caspian that he would need to write a new proposal to its ethics sub-committee, which rejected the request.

The rejection slip stated, “Engaging in a potentially ‘politically incorrect’ piece of research carries a risk to the university. Attacks on social media may not be confined to the researcher but may involve the university.”

A recent report written by three well-respected medical experts and scholars questioned the safety and effectiveness of pressuring gender-confused children to undergo “radical” and “experimental” puberty-blocking hormone therapy even though the treatment and its side-effects haven’t yet been adequately researched by the science and medical communities.  “Psychologists do not understand what causes gender dysphoria in children and adolescents, or how to distinguish reliably between children who will only temporarily express feelings of being the opposite sex from children whose gender dysphoria will be more persistent. Until much more is known about gender dysphoria, and until controlled clinical trials of puberty suppression are carried out, this intervention should be considered experimental,” the report stated. “Regardless of the good intentions of the physicians and parents, to expose young people to such treatments is to endanger them.”  

Previous research findings — much of it on the brain — have led some to conclude that being transgender is not a choice. But not all researchers are on board with that conclusion.

In 1995, a study by the Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam and the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research showed “a female brain structure in genetically male transsexuals.”

Researchers had looked at a part of the brain called the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTc) — a brain area that is essential for sexual behavior and is larger in men than in women. They found that male-to-female transsexuals had a female-sized BSTc.

The researchers also noted that “the size of the BSTc was not influenced by sex hormones in adulthood and was independent of sexual orientation.”

In a follow-up study in 2000, the same research institutions looked at the neurons — specialized cells that transmit information — in the BSTc. More specifically, they examined the number of somatostatin-expressing neurons. They found that men had almost twice as many somatostatin neurons as women.

Male-to-female transsexuals had a similar number of neurons in the BSTc to that of women. The number of neurons in a female-to-male transsexual was similar to that of men.

Researchers concluded that there could be a “neurobiological basis of gender identity disorder.”

written by Anugrah Kumar

Church of England bishops join calls for end to indefinite migrant detention

Home Office minister Brandon Lewis said: ‘The Panorama footage is extremely disturbing and the sort of behavior on display is utterly unacceptable. The dignity and welfare of all those in our care is of the utmost importance and we are taking this very seriously.

Church of England bishops are accusing politicians of ‘dehumanizing’ migrants after an investigation unearthed ‘shocking’ levels of abuse at an immigration detention center.

In a rare move 17 bishops plus other senior officials and different church leaders are coming together urging the government to end indefinite detention in the wake of a BBC Panorama documentary that described Brook House immigration center as ‘a toxic, brutal and failing environment where self-harming is common place’.

In a letter to the Telegraph on Wednesday the bishops say they are ‘deeply concerned’ by the findings and accuse ‘some politicians and sectors of the media’ of dehumanizing immigrants.

‘Yet again it raises questions about our immigration policy and practice in this country,’ they write. ‘We fear that this treatment is symptomatic of a rhetoric fostered by some politicians and sectors of the media that dehumanizes immigrants and paints the public as “victims” of immigration.’

Signed by the Bishop of Durham Paul Butler, the third most senior figure in the CofE, as well as several other senior bishops and the chief inspector of prisons Lord Ramsbotham, the letter adds: ‘As a nation we must demand better than this – both for our own citizens in whose names this takes place, and for all who find themselves in the system.’

t was organised by former G4S manager and now whistle-blower and priest, Nathan Ward. It echoes his call for an absolute cap on 28 days of detention with court approval needed to hold any immigrant for longer than 72 hours.

Ward said: ‘This is not about immigration; it is about ending inhumane practices which are expensive and infective. The UK is a developed nation with high standards – we must demand better than this for our detention centres.’

The criticism aimed at ‘some politicians’ for dehumanising migrants is similar to remarks made by the Archbishop of Canterbury last year where he accused UKIP leader Nigel Farage of racism.

Justin Welby told the home affairs select committee in the build up to the EU referendum Farage was guilty of ‘inexcusable pandering to people’s worries and prejudices, that is giving legitimisation to racism’ and said he was ‘accentuating [people’s] fear for political gain and that is absolutely unacceptable’.

The Archbishop of Canterbury was the first head of the Church of England to give evidence before a House of Commons select committee as he answered questions on migration with the Bishop of DurhamParliament.tv

Home Office minister Brandon Lewis said: ‘The Panorama footage is extremely disturbing and the sort of behavior on display is utterly unacceptable. The dignity and welfare of all those in our care is of the utmost importance and we are taking this very seriously.

‘It is right that G4S took swift action as soon as the allegations were brought to their attention and we will continue to work with them and the police to ensure all necessary action is taken.

‘Detention and removal are essential aspects of effective immigration control and Home Office policy makes clear that detention is only used for the short period necessary. There is a presumption of liberty for all individuals.

‘Home Office policy is clear that detention will only be maintained while there is a reasonable prospect of removal within a reasonable period of time.’

[written by Harry Farley]