No tears for sacked homophobic magistrate

Submitted by Janine on Tue, 11/28/2006 - 15:52

There aren't too many Employment Tribunals where I'd support the boss against the worker. But here's one.

Andrew McClintock claims he was forced to resign as a family division magistrate because he was not prepared to agree to remove children from their families because they might be placed with a lesbian or gay couple.

Unpick this particular sentence from the report in the Daily Express, which while obviously sympathetic manged to spell his name wrongly: "He said that it contradicted his religious beliefs and his duty as a magistrate to put the child's welfare first." No - surely if his religious beliefs make him a homophobe then it is those beliefs that contradict his duty to put the child's welfare first.

Bizarrely, Mr. McClintock goes on to argue that "this is an experiment in social science. There is no one with experience of bringing a child though to adulthood in a single-sex household." I can only assume that Mr. McClintock has been living on the moon for most of his life, and rejoined the rest of the species so recently that he has not noticed what is going on in the world around him.

Tempting though it is to just mock the morally-afflicted fellow, there is of course a very serious side to this. Family courts take children away from their birth families if they are being abused or neglected, or if the family - for whatever reason, and maybe temporarily - can not cope. (Sometimes they may do so unjustly, but it is not those cases that McClintock is arguing about.) McClintock's belief is that kids would be better off in a family that can not look after them properly so long as the parents are heterosexual than with a gay couple no matter how well-equipped they are to provide a loving home.

This man's "morals" are sick. The authorities were quite right to sack him, and the Tribunal should throw out his case. In fact, it makes my flesh creep that such a bigot could have had anything to do with child welfare decisions to start with.

Oh, and a quick web search reveals that he is in fact this Andrew McClintock (scroll down a bit), member of the Christian People's Alliance Council and former Executive member of Sheffield Hallam Liberals. Just an innocent, non-political victim of political correctness then. Not.

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