Comments: Church Times reports on Pemberton tribunal claim

It's hard to see how there is any case in employment law against the church; it was the employer, the NHS, that originally discriminated on a protected ground (ie religion) by restricting the post to approved clergy from a *particular* religious group (the CofE)! If any trained chaplain would do then the NHS could just employ him as an independent.

Posted by RevDave at Saturday, 13 September 2014 at 10:02pm BST

So, according to the RevDave, the actual employer, being the NHS, is respomsible for refusing employment to a trained clergy-person. How can they justify their conduct in this case, when Jeremy is a licensed priest in at least one C. of E. diocese?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 14 September 2014 at 2:54am BST

Let me repeat the comment that I added to an earlier article,
There's a detailed discussion of this case in the following article by Ian Paul:

Law suits and same-sex marriage
http://www.psephizo.com/life-ministry/law-suits-and-same-sex-marriage/

The comments there are also interesting.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Sunday, 14 September 2014 at 3:11pm BST

The key question is process. The Church has carved out a wide exemption from equality legislation - that does not make it exempt from following good practice in how it exercises that exemption. There is very little sign of any due process here.

I have no idea how the Tribunal will weigh a difficult and complex argument, but I do know they will be over the process used like a rash, because they always are, especially in discrimination cases.

It's also highly likely that the lawyers engaged by Jeremy Pemberton had a definite strategy in mind when they aimed the suit at Inwood and Sentamu rather than the NHS Trust.

History also shows us that the Church tends to misread both public and the legal system's tolerance of homophobia.

I'll reiterate, I have no idea how the Tribunal will weigh complex arguments and conflicting legal principles, but conservatives assuming that the exemption means that sacking or refusing to employ gays is permitted in all circumstances and without constraint must be unaware of case law which has emerged in previous cases.

Posted by The Rev'd Mervyn Noote at Monday, 15 September 2014 at 10:45pm BST
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