A Christian judge is taking legal action against the UK Government after claiming he had to resign from his role because he was against ruling on adoption cases which would have placed children in the care of same sex couples.

Andrew McClintock stepped down after his request to not have to deal with cases involving gay parents were dismissed.

He has been a family panel judge for 15 years in Yorkshire and claims it is against his “conscience” to promote gay adoption, but his bosses warned that he could not pick and choose cases.

The 62-year-old told the Sunday Telegraph: “I felt pushed into a corner, I wanted to be sure that I was not risking sending children into same-sex households. As that could not be guaranteed, I felt that I must resign rather than act against my conscience, but I was disappointed that no effort was made to accommodate my Christian beliefs.”

His case will be taken against the Department for Constitutional Affairs, arguing that religious rights must be protected in social employment and public services.

It comes as the Sexual Orientation Regulations which guarantee equality in the provision of goods and services are due next April, Andrea Minichiello Williams, a public policy officer for the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, told the paper, “If the Government’s proposed Sexual Orientation Regulations come into force, Mr McClintock will be joined by thousands of other law-abiding and upstanding citizens forced out of their jobs because their Christian faith and belief in the importance of heterosexual marriage is no longer tolerated by our Government.”

Gay and lesbian couples have been allowed to adopt since the Adoption and Children Act was introduced in 2005.