Gay vicar defends decision to marry

Mon 14 Jul 2014
By Antony Bushfield

An Anglican priest who married his same sex partner and was struck off has stood by his decision to go against Church teaching.

Canon Jeremy Pemberton became the first vicar to enter a same sex marriage in April.

He was then told he could no longer work as a priest in Nottinghamshire.

Revd Pemberton said his wedding to Laurence Cunnington was "wonderful" but "clouded by anxiety".

Speaking to BBC Nottingham he said: "I knew it was going to be controversial but we had planned our wedding several months before the bishop's pastoral guidance came out.

"In the end we thought to go ahead with what we think is the right thing to do.

"It was a careful, conscientious decision of two people that loved each other and wanted to commit to each other for life.

"We wanted to take up the right that we have now to be married like any other couple."

After already being told he could no longer be a priest he was last week blocked by the acting Bishop for Southwell and Nottingham from becoming chaplaincy and bereavement manager at a local NHS trust.

"I think I have been treated inconsistently and don't think I have been treated fairly in that I have not been put through a disciplinary process.

"Penalties have just been imposed on me by the bishops out of the air and there isn't any recourse.

"If they really thought I had done something very bad they could have started a procedure against me... but that hasn't happened." He said.

The acting Bishop for Southwell and Nottingham, Rt Rev Richard Inwood, said: "In light of the pastoral guidance and for reasons of consistency, I am unable to issue a licence to Jeremy Pemberton for the post."

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