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First gay clergy member to marry in UK sues Church of England after sacking

Joseph McCormick September 9, 2014

The first gay clergy to marry in the UK, who was later sacked for doing so, has begun legal proceedings against the Church of England.

Canon Jeremy Pemberton, 58, formerly a hospital chaplain, was the first member of the clergy to enter into a same-sex marriage, when he wed his partner Laurence Cunnington in April.

His marriage defied a decision by the House of Bishops, which has banned gay clergy from marrying, and he later had his permission to officiate revoked. This meant he was also unable to take up another job at the NHS, as he was declined the correct licences.

He has now filed an Equality Act claim in the Employment Tribunal against the Archbishop of York and the acting Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham.

Pemberton said: “I am deeply saddened that I have had to take this step against church authorities. However, I feel I have been left with little choice, having found myself being punished and discriminated against simply for exercising my right to marry. I will be making no further comment until these matters have been resolved through the court process.”

More: Church of England, civil partnership, equal marriage, gay marriage, gay wedding, Jeremy Pemberton, lawsuit, lesbian marriage, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage ban, marriage equality, same sex marriage, Same-sex wedding, wedding

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