Disappointment and gratitude as Pemberton case concludes

Disappointment and gratitude as Pemberton case concludes

OneBodyOneFaith expresses disappointment and gratitude as Pemberton case reaches its conclusion.

Today’s Appeal Court judgement in the case by Jeremy Pemberton against the former acting bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, Richard Inwood, brings to a close a four year legal process which has highlighted the ongoing and disturbing right under law for the Church of England to discriminate against gay and lesbian people.   It is with disappointment and sadness that we note the Court’s conclusion that the Church acted legally in refusing to grant Jeremy a licence to work in the NHS following his marriage to his husband Laurence Cunnington.

Peter Leonard, Chair of OneBody, said, “Jeremy, Laurence and their legal team are to be thanked for all they have done to bring to light the legal protections to discriminate that the Church of England, and other faith groups, continue to enjoy.  The question now is less whether the bishop acted legally - that seems beyond doubt - but whether people want to continue to support this kind of discrimination against committed, loving couples as they seek to follow Christ.  There is a real sense of the need for change, the will for change and the time for change.“

Tracey Byrne, Chief Executive, added, ‘Jeremy has achieved an extraordinary amount in bringing this case.  He deserves our thanks and gratitude for all he’s withstood during an incredibly challenging process - and he’s entitled to a rest now.  This particular chapter may have drawn to a close, but we and all those committed to seeing an inclusive and compassionate church, faithful to the gospel, will continue to work to challenge the injustices which lie at the heart of his case.  We are already seeing a change in the churches, built on the activism of previous generations; we will continue their work as long as the need remains.’