A Christian doctor in England was removed from an adoption panel because she refused to endorse applications by gay couples.
Pediatrician Dr. Sheila Matthews had requested to abstain from voting in cases of same-sex couples, as she has done for the past five years. But the Northhamptonshire County Council said it decided to instead replace her on the panel because her view on gay adoption did not comply with England's new Equality Law, as reported by U.K.'s the Daily Mail.
The Equality Law forbids discrimination against homosexuals or transsexuals in terms of access to goods and services, including adoption agencies. Under the controversial law, even religious institutions and churches are forced to hire open, practicing homosexuals.
Matthews said both as a medical doctor and as a Christian she cannot recommend placing a child with same-sex parents despite what the new legislation calls for. Men and women, she explains, bring different characteristics to parenting. Mothers are more nurturing while fathers are more challenging, Matthews said according to the U.K. newspaper. The pediatrician claims children of gay adoptive parents are more likely to be bullied.
"I don't feel that placing children for adoption with same-sex couples is the best place for them," said Matthews. "As a Christian, I don't believe it's an appropriate lifestyle and I don't believe the outcomes for children would be as good as if they were placed with heterosexual couples."
Although she requested to abstain from voting in same-sex couple cases, Matthews has been reporting on the health of prospective adoptive parents, including gay couples, to the panel for the past five years. She has indicated that she wants to continue to analyze the candidates' health qualification but just abstain from voting if they are a gay couple.
But the Council has decided to remove her from the panel altogether.
Matthews has appealed the Council's decision and said she may take the case to the employment tribunal over religious discrimination.
The case of the Christian doctor penalized for her views on gay adoption follows reports earlier this year of Catholic adoption agencies in the United Kingdom threatening to shut down if they are forced to work with gay couples due to the Equality Law. The Catholic Church in the U.K. has argued that the rights of homosexuals are given priority over the rights of Christians.
Last year, 90 children, out of more than 3,200 adopted children in England, were adopted by gay couples.