Bishop and senior clergyman join calls for Church of England to lose equalities exemptions

Apr 9, 2018 by

by Harry Farley, Christian Today:

Paul Bayes, the bishop of Liverpool, and David Ison, the dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, both called for Jeremy Pemberton, a gay priest who was blocked from being a hospital chaplain after marrying his partner, to be reinstated.

They are backing the Jayne Ozanne Foundation, a charity launched on Monday campaigning against discrimination within religious institutions.

The Church of England is exempt from equality laws meaning it can discriminate on the basis of religion, requiring candidates for certain roles to be Christian. However it can also disrcriminate over sex, sexuality, marital history and gender identity.

‘We want to ask the churches to answer the question – if we mean what we say about opposing homophobia, if we believe what we say about wanting to include everyone, if we believe that God made every one they are, then what does that imply for our public polices?,’ Bishop Bayes told Christian Today.

‘We will advocate for a greater openness and the implication of that is we may have to reexamine the prohibitions that are there in law at the moment,’ he said, adding it was ‘unfortunate’ Pemberton had been forced to step down.

‘I hope for a future whereby people like Jeremy can feel that their ministry can be exercised and that they can love the person they love freely.’

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See also: Rejection by C of E has driven LGBT people to suicide, bishop says, by Harriet Sherwood, Guardian


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