Gay canon Jeremy Pemberton loses tribunal appeal

Jeremy Pemberton and partner Laurence Cunnington in 2014 Image copyright Quentin Rayner
Image caption Jeremy Pemberton (left) married his partner Laurence Cunnington in 2014

A gay clergyman who lost an employment tribunal against the church has had his appeal dismissed.

Canon Jeremy Pemberton had claimed the Church of England's stance on same-sex marriage breached equality laws.

But last year it was ruled he was not discriminated against when stopped from taking up a new post as a hospital chaplain after marrying his partner.

Mr Pemberton said the Employment Appeal Tribunal has given him leave to go to the Court of Appeal.

'Source of hope'

Mr Pemberton, a hospital chaplain in Lincolnshire, was barred in 2014 by the then acting Bishop of Southwell from taking up a job for the NHS in Nottinghamshire, just weeks after marrying.

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

In a statement today, Mr Pemberton said his appeal had been dismissed on every ground but judge Jennifer Eady QC had granted leave to refer the case to the Court of Appeal.

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."

A copy of the ruling is yet to be published by the judicial office.

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