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Hospital chaplain in same-sex marriage loses discrimination appeal

2016-12-08
Jeremy Pemberton, the first Church of England clergyman to enter into a same-sex marriage, who lost his case at an employment tribunal after being barred from taking up a new job, has had his appeal turned down. Canon Pemberton was a Church of England hospital chaplain in Lincolnshire when he married his partner in 2014. Weeks later he was prevented from taking up a similar role in Nottinghamshire when the bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, Richard Inwood, revoked his permission to officiate. Mr Pemberton claimed this breached equality laws but the tribunal disagreed. That decision was upheld by Judge Jennifer Eady today (7 December). She ruled that the House of Bishops' guidance on same-sex marriages was clear and the Mr Pemberton must have known that getting married meant he would not be "of good standing".   Judge Eady admitted that in any other situation the case would have been¬†"direct discrimination" but added:¬†"The constitutional convention means that the State cannot impose same-sex marriage upon the Church". Mr Pemberton said the judge had given him permission to take his case to the Court of Appeal and that he was considering his next move.