Following my previous article on the Employment claim of Mr Richard Page, the trial of his claim began this week. The representative for Kent & Medway Trust accused Richard Page of mounting a publicity campaign without having regard to his position with the Trust, see here.
Richard Page pointed out that he had worked with numerous homosexuals during his time at the trust and refrained from commenting on their sexuality because it was not relevant to the decisions being made. Richard Page said he did not regret any of his comments, see here.
As for comments to the above linked article, one gets the impression that many of the commentators do not realise that this case is about Mr Page’s position as a Director of Kent & Medway NHS Trust and not his position as a Magistrate. Of those who do realise this, there is no attempt to conceptualise their opinions, i.e. they do not specify in what circumstances a person should lose their job for expressing a public opinion outside of their employment, even where they are not purporting to speak on behalf of their employer; essentially their argument seems to be; ‘this man is a “bigot”, therefore he should lose his position.’
Nor do these individuals appear to know the definition of “bigot” or appreciate the irony of its use in this context. The word “bigot” does not refer to any substantive belief but to intolerance of others and/or their beliefs. The word “tolerance” refers to putting up with something that one dislikes or disapproves of. Richard Page disapproves of adoption by homosexuals. Leaving aside his position as a Magistrate, which is a separate matter, as an individual he tried to peacefully persuade people that such adoptions are immoral. He has not for instance, physically attacked homosexual couples who seek to adopt children or sought to destroy their livelihoods. Who therefore is the bigot in this scenario?
Returning to the case, the judgment is reserved following conclusion of the trial; see video report below.