Judge forced out be­cause of views on mar­riage

The Church of England - - News -

AN OUT­SPO­KEN judge has claimed he was forced to re­sign be­cause of his sup­port for mar­riage. He has de­scribed as ‘silly’ and ‘un­fair’ the treat­ment meted out to him by the Lord Chief Jus­tice, John Thomas, and the Ju­di­cial Con­duct In­ves­ti­ga­tions Of­fice, a body charged with in­ves­ti­gat­ing com­plaints against judges.

Sir Paul Co­leridge said he had been told not to speak out in sup­port of the Mar­riage Foun­da­tion, an or­gan­i­sa­tion he set up as a char­ity to pro­mote sta­ble mar­ried re­la­tion­ships.

He told the news­pa­per that judges should be able to speak out in a pri­vate ca­pac­ity and com­plained it was ‘ridicu­lous’ that com­plaints from a ‘hand­ful’ of people had led to him be­ing treated as a ‘mis­cre­ant in court’.

The judge said that he is a Chris­tian but not a ‘Bi­ble basher’. He first agreed not to speak pub­licly in sup­port of the Mar­riage Foun­da­tion but then found him­self the sub­ject of re­newed com­plaints when he said the Govern­ment was fo­cussing too much on gay mar­riage, which he de­scribed as a ‘mi­nor­ity is­sue’.

Af­ter more com­plaints he was told he had brought the ju­di­ciary into dis­re­pute and given a warn­ing. Af­ter he went pub­lic to de­scribe the warn­ing as ‘un­fair and dis­pro­por­tion­ate’ he was sub­jected to a third in­ves­ti­ga­tion and was is­sued with a rep­ri­mand. As a re­sult, he de­cided to re­sign and work full time pro­mot­ing the work of the Mar­riage Foun­da­tion.

“Where do you go af­ter a rep­ri­mand?” he com­plained to the Sun­day Times. “Pub­lic hang­ing?”

Sir Paul has won sup­port from Baroness But­ler-Sloss, for­mer pres­i­dent of the fam­ily di­vi­sion courts. He ar­gues that get­ting a di­vorce is now eas­ier than get­ting a driv­ing li­cence and that while not ev­ery bro­ken fam­ily pro­duces dys­func­tional chil­dren, al­most ev­ery dys­func­tional child is the prod­uct of a bro­ken fam­ily.

“In about 1950 you weren’t al­lowed in the royal en­clo­sure at As­cot if you were di­vorced. That would now ex­clude half the royal fam­ily,” he told the Sun­day Times.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.