Pump Court Chambers

Discrimination appeal against C of E dismissed

News 23rd March 2018

Justin Gau has appeared before the Court of Appeal in the first case under the Equality Act relating to a Gay Priest who married his partner.

Canon Jeremy Pemberton had been working as a chaplain in a Lincolnshire hospital when an offer to work as a bereavement manager at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust was withdrawn when his licence was revoked.

He claimed the Right Reverend Richard Inwood, then the acting Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, discriminated against him because of his homosexuality, but the bishop argued it was same-sex marriage that went against the church’s beliefs.

In a statement, Mr Pemberton said: “The Church of England has established through this process that it can continue to discriminate legally against some LGBT people in relation to their employment, even where that employment is not within the boundaries of the church’s jurisdiction.”

“This will seem to most people in the UK today an extraordinary result, and not one that will help commend the claims of Christ to the nation.”

“I am more grateful than I can say to Sean Jones QC, Helen Trotter, Justin Gau, and Susanna Reynhart of Thompson Snell & Passmore. Since the end of the original tribunal hearing they have all represented me pro bono with great skill and commitment. We have worked together for three and a half years on this case, and I count myself very blessed to have had them alongside me every step of the way.”

For further details of the case as reported in the media please click here.

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