Christian Magistrate Loses Conscientious Objection Appeal

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: February 26, 2008

A Christian magistrate lost his second and final appeal in a suit in which he claimed his employer had discriminated against him because of his religious conviction that adoptive children ought not to be placed with homosexuals.

Mr. McClintock resigned from the South Yorkshire Courts Panel after being informed he would not be allowed to opt-out of cases that he felt would conflict with his religious views. He launched an unfair dismissal suit in March 2007, saying he ought to have been excused from adjudicating such cases as a conscientious objector. Mr. McClintock, a magistrate with 18 years experience on the South Yorkshire bench, was forced to resign from the family courts panel when regulations came in place last year prohibiting "discrimination" against homosexuals in the provision of goods and services. He will continue to serve as a magistrate but will no longer be involved in family cases. "I'm convinced that people who hold traditional views are in the majority," he said. He described the "thousands" of emails and messages of support he has received from the public. Lord Justice Mummery of the Appeals Court said that "gay couples have human rights too" and refused permission to appeal. He said Mr. McClintock's suit was not a case of pure religious discrimination and that his concerns focused instead on the lack of attention paid by the Employment Tribunal to evidence of the ill effects on children of being raised in a homosexual household. "I would say unquestionably that there is a weakening of our democracy, that there is a totalitarian element. And I use that word quite advisedly. Our civil freedoms and our quality of life are being threatened." The general trend, he said, is at its root a failure to understand the Christian foundation of the civil liberties, and civil freedoms of the western democracies. "They take the advantages of a Christian civilization for granted and don't see the connections between the institutions the world values and see the Christianity at the bottom of it. All the values, like tolerance, come from Christianity. Now that Christianity is diluted, all the things that go along with it, including democratic freedoms, are also being diluted".
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