Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Britain's Court of Appeals Rules Against Gay Priest's Employment Discrimination Claim

In Pemberton v Inwood, (EWCA , March 22, 2018), the England and Wales Court of Appeal ruled against Jeremy Pemberton, a gay Church of England priest who was prevented from taking a position as a hospital chaplain when he married his same-sex partner.  Pemberton sued claiming employment discrimination and harassment. Lady Justice Asplin's opinion held that the action taken against Pemberton falls within a statutory exception from the Equality Act's discrimination provisions for religious organizations that impose various requirements regarding marriage and sexual orientation.  Rejecting Pemberton's harassment claim, Justice Asplin said in part:
If you belong to an institution with known, and lawful, rules, it implies no violation of dignity, and is not cause for reasonable offence, that those rules should be applied to you, however wrong you may believe them to be. Not all opposition of interests is hostile or offensive.
 The Guardian reports on the court's decision. (See prior related posting.)