A Sheffield magistrate is taking the Lord Chancellor to an employment tribunal, claiming that his Bible-influenced opinions should allow him to be excused from approving gay adoptions.

62-year-old Andrew McClintock hopes the ruling will set a precedent.

He resigned from the South Yorkshire Courts’ Panel after being informed he would not be allowed to opt-out of cases that he felt would conflict with his religious views.

He spoke to The Daily Mail about his opinions on gay parenting.

“All round the world, in every society, every religion, every culture, children have been brought up with influence from both male and female.

“There is no evidence from any culture about what it does to a child to be brought up by two daddies or two mummies.

“We were effectively making disadvantaged children guinea pigs.”

Mr McClintock, a magistrate for 15 years, was at no time asked to preside over a gay adoption, but the decided to resign and take the Courts Service to a tribunal as a matter of principle.

His action is being backed by the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, some of whose members petitioned the Queen earlier this month protesting the introduction of the Sexual Orientation Regulations.

The regulations protect gay, bisexual and lesbian people from discrimination when accessing goods and services.

Mr McClintock told the Mail that he only knows one or two gay people, but that his experience as a father of four informs his belief that only and man and a woman should raise a child.

“The Bible teaching is that same-sex sexual relations are wrong and I agree with that. My friends include a rabbi and a Muslim woman who both agree,” he told the paper.

The employment tribunal begins today.