- Bishop can rely on statutory defence for refusing to grant licence to priest in same sex marriage (Pemberton v Inwood)
- What are the practical implications of this judgment?
- What is the relevant background?
- Background law
- Background facts
- Decisions of the employment tribunal and EAT
- What did the Court of Appeal decide?
- Case details
Employment analysis: An extra parochial ministry licence (allowing a priest to perform services as a minister outside of his parish or in an institution) is a relevant qualification for the purposes of discrimination by a qualifications body under the Equality Act 2010 and so the Church of England bishop granting such a licence is a qualifications body for these purposes. The refusal to grant such a licence because the priest has entered into a same sex marriage amounts to direct discrimination because of sexual orientation but an exception applies under paragraph 2 of Schedule 9 where the purpose of the employment is for an organised religion and the action taken by the body was to comply with the doctrines of that religion. Further, unless there are ‘aggravating features’, it cannot be reasonable for unwanted conduct which otherwise falls within the exception to amount to harassment, according to the Court of Appeal.
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