A Christian magistrate, who was fired from his role as a health director for speaking out against adoption by same-sex parents, is filing a discrimination lawsuit against Britain's National Health Service (NHS).
Richard Page, 71, was suspended as an NHS Trust director after he stated in a nationally televised interview that it was better for a child to be brought up by a man and a woman.
Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) claimed that his view "undermined" the confidence of LGBT staff members.
Page, who had worked as NHS finance director for 20 years before taking up a part-time role at KMPT in 2012, is bringing a claim of discrimination, harassment and victimization against the NHS Trust Development Authority under the Equality Act 2010.
In 2014, when he served as a magistrate on a family panel, he turned down an application by a same-sex couple to adopt a child and rejected a claim in a social worker's report that homosexual couples are better adoptive parents than heterosexual couples.
During the hearing, he reportedly stated that it was "generally in the best interests" for a child to be raised by a mother and a father. The remark prompted the court clerk and two other magistrates to lodge an official complaint against Page, saying his Christian beliefs meant he was prejudiced against same-sex couples.
In an attempt to defend his views, Page appeared on numerous television programs in 2016. In his guest appearance on ITV's "This Morning," he was accused by the presenter, Piers Morgan, of being a homophobe after he declared that he was opposed to gay marriage.
He was later fired from his position as a magistrate by then Lord Chancellor, Michael Gove, and Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas on the grounds that he was "biased and prejudiced against single sex adopters." He was also suspended from his role as a non-executive director at the NHS a few days later, according to The Telegraph.
Page's lawyers are expected to tell the tribunal hearing that their client was only dismissed from his NHS role for his remarks on television, but he has never been rude or disrespectful to homosexuals in any way.
"This case is another in a long line of cases that demonstrates the intolerance of our illiberal elites. Far from promoting diversity they punish people like Richard who serves his community so well," said Andrea Williams from Christian Concern, which is supporting Page's legal action.
"This case shows the ugly face of the LGBQ lobby that is incapable of tolerating anyone brave enough to challenge their lifestyle. The lobby will not be satisfied until they have eliminated any whiff of dissent in public life. They are the bullies," she added.
The NHS has reportedly attempted to have the lawsuit thrown out by in January, but the employment tribunal ruled that the Page's case should be heard.
The hearing is due to start on Tuesday at the Croydon Employment Tribunal courts, and is expected to last four days.