Christian doctor loses gay adoption case

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A Christian doctor who claimed she was a victim of religious discrimination has lost her case against Northamptonshire County Council.

Dr Sheila Matthews, of Kettering, claimed she was forced out of her post on the Northamptonshire Council Adoption Panel after she asked to be allowed to abstain from voting in cases involving same-sex couples, on the grounds that she believes gay couples should not adopt.

She went to an employment tribunal in Leicester to argue she was a victim of religious discrimination but the panel dismissed her claim and ordered her to pay the council’s legal costs.

According to the BBC, Dr Matthews told the tribunal the Bible was clear that “homosexual practice is not how God wants us to live”.

She told the hearing that she had seen research which claimed that lesbian couples may bring up children with an “anti-male bias” and that children brought up by gay couples are “more likely to consider or be involved in homosexual relationships themselves”.

Regional employment judge John MacMillan said: “The complaints of religious discrimination fail and are dismissed. This case fails fairly and squarely on its facts.”

He added: “In our judgment, at least from the time of the pre-hearing review, the continuation of these proceedings was plainly misconceived… they were doomed to fail. There is simply no factual basis for the claims.”

The tribunal said there was no evidence she had been treated unfairly on the basis of her Christianity and that there was no evidence that she was treated differently to any other panel member who asked to abstain from voting on whether parents should be allowed to adopt.

Dr Matthews said she was considering what action to take next.