Gay clergyman loses appeal against church after disbarring


A Church of England clergyman has lost his claim that he was discriminated against when his license to work was withdrawn after marrying his same-sex partner, a report has shown.

Gay rights campaigners had hoped that this case would force the church to change its stance on same-sex marriage.

Canon Jeremy Pemberton, from Lincolnshire, was appealing against an earlier ruling that backed the church’s legal right to enforce its position that gay clergy are forbidden from marrying their partners.

He said the Church of England’s stance on same-sex marriage breached equality laws.

According to reports, Mr Pemberton was barred in 2014 by the then acting Bishop of Southwell from taking up a job in the NHS a few weeks after marrying.

The Church had warned him that marriage other than between heterosexual couples was against its teaching.

Mr Pemberton said: “The result is, obviously, not the one my husband and I had hoped for.

“I appreciate that this case was a source of hope for many people and I am grateful that the judge has recognised its significance and indicated that its importance warrants permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

“I am now going to take some time to consider the lengthy judgment with my husband and we will decide on the best way forward.”

A spokesperson for the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham said: “Churches across the diocese continue to offer a generous welcome to people from all backgrounds and we remain fully engaged in the Church’s exploration of questions relating to human sexuality.

“The Church of England supports gay men and women who serve as clergy in its parishes, dioceses and institutions.

“It has no truck with homophobia and supports clergy who are in civil partnerships, as set out in the House of Bishops guidelines in 2006.”

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