Gay canon loses tribunal appeal

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Undated handout photo of newlyweds, Canon Jeremy Pemberton (left) and Laurence Cunnington heading off for their honeymoon after tying the knot in a ceremony on Saturday, as the gay clergyman has become the first ordained priest to break the Church of England's ban on same-sex marriages to wed his long-term partner Laurence Cunnington.
BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE. Undated handout photo of newlyweds, Canon Jeremy Pemberton (left) and Laurence Cunnington heading off for their honeymoon after tying the knot in a ceremony on Saturday, as the gay clergyman has become the first ordained priest to break the Church of England's ban on same-sex marriages to wed his long-term partner Laurence Cunnington.

A Gay Church of England priest has lost his appeal against a decision to remove his right to officiate after he married another man.

Canon Jeremy Pemberton who was prevented from becoming a chaplain for Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust, lost an appeal against the ruling by an employment tribunal.

Canon Pemberton who married his long term partner in April 2014 was refused a license to officiate after he was warned that same sex marriage was against the church’s teaching.

But The priest claimed that the Church of England’s Stance on same-sex marriage breached the 2010 Equality Act.

Mr Pemberton took the Church of England to a tribunal claiming he was unlawfully discriminated against by the bishop.

In a statement Mr Pemberton said the judge had granted him leave to refer the case to the Court of Appeal and he was going to “take some time to consider the judgement....and decide on the best way forward”.

He 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.”

Canon Pemberton, who preached at Southwell Minster, married his long-term partner Laurence Cunnington in defiance of a Church of England ban on gay clergy marrying.

The Rt Revd Richard Inwood, Acting Bishop for Southwell and Nottingham, said the House of Bishops’ pastoral guidance on same sex marriage was that getting married to someone of the same sex went against the teaching of the Church of England.

A spokesman 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.”