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‘You know the rules’ judge tells sacked gay C of E clergyman

‘You know the rules’ judge tells sacked gay C of E clergyman

Canon Jeremy Pemberton, left, who had his licence as a priest officially revoked for marrying his partner Laurence Cunnington, right, in 2014, has lost his discrimination case at the Court of Appeal.

According to this report, Lord Justice Underhill told Pemberton, “if you belong to an institution with known and lawful rules”, it is justifiable that:

Those rules should be applied to you, however wrong you may believe them to be.

Pemberton entered into a same-sex marriage in 2014, despite C of E rules not allowing clergy to do so.

The Court said the Church had applied “its sincerely held beliefs in a way expressly permitted” by the Equality Act.

The long running legal case began after Pemberton had his licence as a priest officially revoked for his action.

The clergyman mounted an employment discrimination case, giving evidence in 2015 that:

No one has the right to tell you who you can or can’t marry.

But the tribunal rejected his legal arguments, and in 2016 an Employment Appeals Tribunal agreed.

Lady Justice Asplin said the employment tribunal had previously found that there had been “lengthy discussions” over Pemberton’s intentions:

Therefore, the consequences in relation to his standing cannot have been much of a surprise.

The Church of England diocese of Southwell and Nottingham, which revoked Canon Pemberton’s licence, welcomed the court’s ruling.

The clergyman said he had agreed with the Church not to continue the case – and that the C of E would not pursue legal costs against him.

He called for a “revolution” in the Church on its stance on marriage and said he hoped to return to active ministry.

The 2015 employment tribunal ruling had said:

The claimant would never have been in this position had he not defied the doctrine of the church. The claimant knowingly entered into that marriage and knew what the potential consequences could be for him.

17 responses to “‘You know the rules’ judge tells sacked gay C of E clergyman”

  1. Angela_K says:

    Why continue to be part of a hateful organisation that does all it can to thwart equality, just dump the god-rot and be happy. I do have an issue with my fellow LGBTs who cling on to their religion and in many cases support it, in the vain hope of changing dogma; the most revolting example being the nauseating Rev Richard Coles who is in a Gay relationship but maintains he and his partner are celibate – yeh right.

  2. Igor says:

    We should ask the head of the C of E, HM The Queen whether it is right for the Church of England to consider gay people as living in the state of “mortal sin”? In fact, she’s the one who decides. So your majesty, is it a sin for which your priests will be cast into everlasting fire? Or is it perhaps a form of love?

  3. AgentCormac says:

    I know it has been said countless times before on this forum, but, once again, why on earth would anyone join and actually become an advocate for an organisation which, deep down, thinks you’re an abomination and hates your fucking guts?

    The judge had no choice. Those are the rules of this archaic, backward, irrelevant institution. Sadly, it’s a bit like a black, muslim liberal joining Britain First or the US Republican Party and thinking everyone will accept them for who they are. It just ain’t going to happen.

    And much as people like Pemberton think they can change institutions like the CofE from within, they never will. They really should be on the outside calling for an end to such antiquated bigotry.

  4. L.Long says:

    Quit whining!! You joined the private club of raving bigots. don’t like the rules…QUIT!!!!

  5. Pat says:

    Stupidity and bigotry from all parties. Everyone looses, except people like me who ache for more of this kind of stuff that clearly shows up the dangerous nonsense that is religion.

  6. 1859 says:

    The rules of a religious organisation have subverted common sense. Yes he knew he was defying the rules, but that does not make the rules right. As people have already said the rules are archaic, but that’s only because the institution that has written them is also so fucking archaic it has become a twenty-first century joke.

  7. Broga says:

    He is well out of it.

    Will luxury loving Charlie be acceptable as the head of the C.of E. The Di business, her divorce from him, his mistress divorce from her husband and her marrying Charlie?

    How will all that be justified? Easily, of course, as the rules are infinitely flexible if they are inconvenient.

  8. Robster says:

    The costumes, the hats, the bright colours, all the ‘girly’ accoutrements, feathers, lots of bling, is it any wonder gay people could perhaps be attracted? Apart from the bigotry, religious dogma, institutionalised hate and a multitude of nonsense, what’s not to love about this religious outfit and most of the others? This is from a gay man.

  9. gary says:

    @1859
    “The rules of a religious organisation have subverted common sense”. How true.

    But this is more pithy, more encompassing and has the vitue of being 100% correct …

    “Religion subverts common sense”.

    Or even “Religion subverts”.

  10. 1859 says:

    Absolument! Merci!

  11. sailor1031 says:

    Broga: no problem. The guy who founded the CofE only did so that he could grant himself an annulment of his first (quite legal) marriage and marry his fancy woman. He later granted himself a divorce from his fourth wife still calling it “annulment” – after offing #2 on Tower Hill (instead of an annulment one presumes). So the precedent is there.

    In the case of Charles Battenburg, the bishops will hasten to declare his current marriage in good standing as he was a widower and much won’t be made of the consort’s marital/divorced status….the tame british media will be happy to sweep it all under the rug in connivance.

  12. barriejohn says:

    Angela_K: Well said. The only thing I have to say about this “celibate relationship” nonsense is: “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

    Those words were supposedly spoken by the founder of their faith, and must apply equally to homosexual attraction, surely?

  13. Broga says:

    sailor1031: I’m delighted you sent that. I was worried in case Charlie might be inconvenienced.

    Battenburg, slyly converted to the ultra English name of Windsor. The adulation of some royals (and many of the aristocracy) for Hitler has been well documented. The obvious example is the playboy, incompetent and traitorous Duke of Windsor whom Churchill consigned to a sinecure as Governor of the Bahamas. Even there, with the war started and Britain facing the most massive pressure, Windsor wanted to visit Germany to meet his hero.

    Churchill said, “no way, sunshine, you have a military rank and will do as I order.” I paraphrase.

  14. andym says:

    Reading the link, it looks like C of E dismissed him from one of its own posts. But reading the NSS article, it’s worse. It appears the church were able to veto him taking an NHS post.

    https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2018/03/court-rules-c-of-e-had-right-to-block-married-gay-man-from-nhs-role

  15. tonye says:

    @Broga,

    I could be wrong but DOW actually did meet with Hitler in 1937.

    Who would come away from that meeting, feeling the most tarnished by association, is anybody’s guess.

  16. Broga says:

    tonye: I read a number of books on the contacts between the aristocracy and Nazis some years ago but didn’t keep any of them. I remember the Mitfords figured prominently and there were photographs of them and Hitler and co. I remember also that Hitler was said to have considered the DOW as the puppet king of the UK as that would reassure the population.

    I also read that the public reason given for the DOW’s abdication – his insistence on marrying Mrs Simpson – was a cover for the real reason. This was that his enthusiasm for the Nazis could not be accepted in a king. There is an interesting parallel between the DOW’s insistence that Mrs Simpson be accorded ” Her Royal Highness” as a form of address and Prince Charles insistence that the same must be accorded to his current wife.

    “The Darkest Hour” by Anthony McCarten, which is available on kindle, gives shocking descriptions of the insistence of the aristocracy in the 1930’s and early 1940’s to make peace with Hitler. What is equally shocking are the petty deals and duplicities of the upper classes to achieve power, including Prime Minister, while the UK was really on the verge of defeat.

    Churchill was given the job of PM faute de mieux. He was intensely disliked at the time. He might have been assessed today as a drunk, perhaps bi polar, manic depressive, impulsive, narcisstic and with a histrionic accentuation. He was also described as a complex man and rarely had any individual done so much harm and so much good in a lifetime.

    We were lucky that he got the job in my view. Although his fantasies (as I see them) about the virtues of the royals and the wonderful British Empire (he opposed India being allowed to govern itself) and his conviction that the superior English were needed to govern the natives sit ill with the realities. Including his savage treatment of striking miners and much else.

    I’ve lost track. Sorry. My dog wants his walk. Gotta go. Priorities.

  17. tonye says:

    @Broga,

    Many thanks for taking the time to give me that additional information.