The Christian former magistrate who claimed unfair dismissal after he was told he could not pick and choose which adoption cases to rule on starts his appeal today.

In March 62-year-old Andrew McClintock learned that his legal action against the Lord Chancellor, claiming that his Bible-influenced opinions should allow him to be excused from approving gay adoptions, was rejected by an employment tribunal.

McClintock says that evidence given in his defence by a right-wing American academic, claiming that gay parents were bad for kids, was not given due consideration by the Sheffield tribunal.

They heard evidence from Dean Byrd, who is a prominent promoter of so-called conversion therapy as a “cure” for homosexuality.

McClintock 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.

“Gay couples have human rights too,” the tribunal said.

Mr McClintock, a member of the Christian People’s Alliance Council, wanted the tribunal to reinstate him with the understanding that he can opt out of cases that conflict with his Christian views.

A key part of his case was that as a magistrate he has to act in the best interests of the child and that placing them with gay people was detrimental to them.

In January Dr Byrd told the tribunal:

“The most reputable scientists would agree that the research on children raised by same-sex couples is in its infancy.

“However, in spite of the many flaws in the very limited pool of rigorous studies, there appears to be an emerging theme.

“Children raised by same-sex couples exhibit poor outcomes not so dissimilar to those raised by divorced heterosexual parents.”

Dr Byrd flew in from Utah to share his opinions on gay parenting with the tribunal.

He is Vice-President of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).

NARTH supports so-called conversion therapy and lobbies the American Psychiatric Association to re-label gay people mentally ill.