A Christian doctor in the United Kingdom has been kicked off an adoption panel after she asked to abstain from voting on those occasions when she would be required to recommend children for adoption by gay couples. See LifeSite News.
Dr. Sheila Matthews had served on the adoption panel of Northamptonshire's Children's Services for 5 years as part of her responsibilities as a pediatrician in the community. Dr. Matthews conducted medical examinations of potential parents to determine whether they were healthy and then reported her findings to the panel, which is made up of social workers, councilors and people from the community. After Dr. Matthews presented her findings, the panel discussed and then voted on whether to accept those people as parents.
"I try to make fair and unbiased assessments and recommendations about the individuals who apply to adopt," Matthews said. However, she believes it is "inappropriate to place children in a household with same sex parents as the best option."
"Using my professional judgement and having done a lot of reading around the subject, I am satisfied that there are research findings which support my position that a same sex partnership is not the best family setting to bring up children," she said. "Therefore professionally and personally I cannot recommend placement in a same-sex household to be in the best interest of a child, despite what politicians may have legislated for."
"As those on the Panel have a legal obligation to do what they believe is in the best interests of the child," she continued, "then I cannot support a recommendation with which I do not agree. This conflicts with my professional, religious and personal integrity."
Previously, Dr. Matthews had abstained from voting on same-sex couples. However,when she told the head of the Northamptonshire's Children's Services, Martin Pratt, that she intended to abstain from voting on a new application by a same-sex couple, she was summoned to a meeting with Mr. Pratt. During that meeting Matthews was told that she would be replaced because her views created "significant problems" for the adoption service.
Dr. Matthews has asked to be reinstated to the panel, but has yet to hear back from Mr. Pratt.
Her case is being represented by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), and the director of that organization, Andrea Minichiello Williams, believes that "This is a further example of how a well respected professional who holds conscientious views on sexual practice, informed by Christian faith, is being asked to choose between her faith and her job. Recent anti-discrimination legislation is having the opposite effect and devout Christians are suffering the consequences," he said. "This is not the mark of a free and civilised society where freedom of speech and religion is carefully guarded."
This scenario could be coming soon to the U.S. soon, courtesy of ENDA, which was introduced in June by Rep. Barney Frank and is currently in the House Judiciary Committee. To read the full text of that bill, H.R. 3017, you may click here.