Updated again Monday evening
Our previous reports on this were Discussions in the House of Lords on same-sex marriage and Update on clergy entering same-sex marriages although the subject is also touched on here.
Today, the BBC reports that Gay wedding canon Jeremy Pemberton has NHS job offer withdrawn and there is an audio file of the interview that lies behind this report over here.
The first gay British clergyman to marry a same-sex partner has had an NHS job offer withdrawn because a bishop will not give the licence needed.
Jeremy Pemberton currently works as an NHS chaplain in Lincolnshire, but has been blocked from taking a new job with the NHS in Nottinghamshire…
Other media are now picking up on this story, see for example, the Independent Married gay clergyman has NHS job offer withdrawn after bishop blocks licence .
The Church Times asked its readers a question about Bishop Richard Inwood’s action last week:
Is Bishop Inwood right to withhold Canon Pemberton’s licence? Total: 571 Yes: 21.5% No: 78.5%
Andrew Brown at the Guardian has written: Church faces legal challenge after blocking job offer to married gay priest.
The first priest to marry his same-sex partner is to issue a legal challenge to the Church of England after his offer of a job as an NHS chaplain was withdrawn when his bishop refused the necessary permission.
The Rev Jeremy Pemberton, who married Laurence Cunnington in April, was informed on Friday that Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS trust had withdrawn its offer of a job after Bishop Richard Inwood had refused him the official licence in the diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.
“It this is not challenged,” Pemberton said on Sunday, “it will send a message to all chaplains of whom a considerable number are gay and lesbian. This is an area of law that has not been tested and needs to be.”
Anglican clergy are allowed to enter civil partnerships, but the House of Bishops has forbidden them to marry their same-sex partners, at least until a two-year discussion process within the church has been completed.
But the legal process for disciplining clergy who do so is unclear and has not been tested. Supporters of gay marriage claim it is a doctrinal issue, which is cumbersome and difficult for the church to prosecute. Opponents claim it is merely a matter of conduct, for which a simpler legal process exists.
Pemberton’s case suggests that some bishops hope to deal with the matter by ensuring that no one who marries their same-sex partner will ever find another job.
“It is tragic and disappointing that bishops think they can get away with this,” Pemberton said. “I have not been through any disciplinary process…”
The BBC has a further report which quotes a spokesperson for the Archbishops’ Council: Church of England shuns gay wedding canon Jeremy Pemberton row
The Church of England has said it will not intervene in the case of the first gay British clergyman to marry.
Following the ceremony in April, Jeremy Pemberton had his permission to work as a priest in Nottinghamshire revoked.
This led to the offer of a chaplaincy with the NHS being withdrawn – although he is still holds a licence and has a similar job in Lincolnshire.
The church, which does not accept gay marriage, said each diocese was responsible for its own decisions…
… a spokesperson for the Archbishops’ Council said it would not comment on individual decisions made by diocese.
They added: “The Church of England is made up of 42 dioceses.
“Each diocese is autonomous with the diocesan bishop overseeing and taking a lead in its ministry and mission.”