England

Jeremy Pemberton gay marriage case: Archbishop of York challenged

Peter Tatchell outside Southwell Minster
Image caption The Archbishop of York was at Southwell Minster to re-open the Archbishop's Palace

The Archbishop of York has been challenged over "discrimination" against a gay clergyman who married his same-sex partner.

Jeremy Pemberton can no longer work as a priest in Nottinghamshire and has been blocked from taking a job as a hospital chaplain in the county.

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell challenged the archbishop over the case as he arrived at Southwell Minster.

However, Dr John Sentamu said he could not comment due to legal reasons.

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Media captionThe archbishop said he had never believed in discrimination

Mr Pemberton, who is still allowed to work as a chaplain for an NHS trust in Lincolnshire, is taking both the Archbishop of York and the Acting Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham to tribunal.

After being challenged at Southwell Minster, the archbishop said: "Mr Tatchell, I have said that actually, at this particular point in time, while there is a legal case pending, anybody, you better than most would know, that actually I can't comment. Silence is the best articulation."

Mr Tatchell told BBC Radio Lincolnshire: "He can't perhaps comment about the individuality of that particular case, but he certainly could comment on the principle, which is that he has, in the past, supported legal discrimination against gay people.

Image copyright Quentin Rayner
Image caption Jeremy Pemberton (right) became the first gay British clergyman to marry in April

"In particular, he opposed same-sex civil marriage in registry offices. And that's got nothing to do with the church. It's a civil ceremony. That's what Jeremy and Laurence [Mr Pemberton's husband] undertook."

The Archbishop of York was challenged as he arrived at Southwell Minster to officially re-open the Archbishop's Palace.

Mr Pemberton did not want to comment because of the tribunal.

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