Gay clergy judgement is green light for Anglican discrimination & witch-hunt
London, UK – 4 November 2015
Today’s employment tribunal decision went against married gay canon, Jeremy Pemberton, and in favour of the Church of England.
The Church denied him the right to take up a chaplaincy post with the NHS after he married his long-time male partner.
Pemberton appealed to the tribunal against this job denial.
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell commented:
“This decision sets three dangerous precedents: that the Church of England is exempt from the laws prohibiting workplace discrimination; that it is entitled to discriminate against gay clergy who have been lawfully married in a civil ceremony; and that it can legally dictate to non-religious institutions, such as the NHS, who they can employ.
“This contradicts the principles of the Equality Act 2010. It gives a green light to Bishops across Britain to witch-hunt married gay clergy,” noted Mr Tatchell who is Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
“This is a clear case of employment discrimination. The Church of England has no right to seek exemption from the anti-discrimination laws that apply to everyone else.
“The disciplinary action was taken by the acting Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, Richard Inwood, after seeking advice from the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, who is thereby clearly implicated in the church’s discrimination against Canon Pemberton.
“It is disgraceful homophobia to deprive a priest of his right to work because he married the man he loves. Discrimination is not a Christian value.
“Jeremy sought appointment to a job in the NHS. It is not reasonable for the Church of England to dictate to the NHS who it can employ.
“Just because the Church of England treats lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) clergy as second class Christians this is no excuse for it to impose its anti-gay discrimination on non-church institutions,” said Mr Tatchell.