A vicar who is facing punishment after marrying his same-sex partner has said he would welcome intervention from the government.
Father Andrew Cain, of St Mary’s with All Souls in Kilburn, flouted a Church of England ban in June to tie the knot with partner of 14 years, Steve Foreshaw.
The vicar is yet to be officially punished by the Church, though he “fully expects” to be, after the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham revoked the Permission to Officiate of chaplain Jeremy Pemberton for marrying.
Father Foreshaw-Cain told Christian Today: “I think it would be wonderful if the government would step in and talk sense to the Church of England.
“It is the state church and it is arguing for exemptions from equality legislation that applies to everyone else.
“It does rather undermine our right to speak to the government on other moral issues when we behave so badly to gay and lesbian people.”
He was reacting to calls from former Conservative Party chairman Lord Fowler, who suggested the government step in earlier this week.
Lord Fowler had said: “Given that there are other clergymen at similar risk, will the minister as a matter of good will look at the position here and see if there is anything that could be done to help reconcile the difficulties?”
Jeremy Pemberton added: “I am grateful to Lord Fowler for raising it. It is a matter of public interest.
“The Church of England is the established Church. How it relates to the law of the land is a matter of interest to everybody. It looks very bad to have a church which says we are all right, because we have got exemptions from treating people in a decent way. It looks worse and worse, the longer it goes on.”