Government should stop gay vicars being sacked by Church of England, says Conservative Lord Fowler
His comments come after former vicar Jeremy Pemberton was revoked of his preaching licence
The former chairman of the Conservative Party has said the government should be able to stop the Church of England from sacking vicars who have same-sex marriages.
Lord Fowler made the suggestion at the House of Lords on Wednesday, citing the case of Jeremy Pemberton, who had his licence to preach revoked after he married his partner in April.
Lord Fowler urged the government to “see if there is anything that could be done to help reconcile the difficulties”, BBC News reported.
While same-sex marriage was legalised in the UK in March of this year, they are not recognised by the Church of England.
Diocese officials told Mr Pemberton he could no longer preach in Nottinghamshire, as clergy must “model the Church’s teaching.” He was also blocked from taking up a promotion within the NHS, where he works as a chaplain.
Read more: Why Cameron promoted anti-gay marriage MPs
Practising Catholic Ruth Hunt heads gay rights group Stonewall
Rogue official defied law to issue over 200 gay marriage licences
Mayor opposed to same-sex marriage officiated son's wedding
Lord Fowler said: “Given that there are other clergymen at similar risk, will the minister as a matter of good will look at the position here and see if there is anything that could be done to help reconcile the difficulties?”
The government's women and equalities spokesperson, Lady Northover, responded by saying it was a matter for the Church of England.
“Things can evolve. It is good to see, for example, that we should soon see women bishops,” she added.
The Bishop of Sheffield, the Right Reverend Steven Croft, told the broadcaster the Church would be holding "a two-year process of structured conversations to explore the changing attitudes to human sexuality and their implications for the life of the Church and its disciplines".
The law prohibits the Church of England from performing same-sex weddings, and also allows other religious organisations to refuse to perform them.
At the time, the Church of England said its clergy should support their flock who are in same-sex marriages, but ruled that priests themselves must not enter into one. The Roman Catholic Church also officially opposes same-sex marriage.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming the street artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Are you ready for Crazy Doritos, the red-hot snack food craze sweeping Mexico’s streets?
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Isis in Kobani: US resupplies Kurdish fighters by plane - then Turkey allows reinforcements through its border
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming the street artist's identity has been revealed
Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?
Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
£110 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cambridge: English Teacher needed for ...
£90 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: NQT and Experienced Primary Teac...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Hull: Year 1 Primary Supply Teachers needed for...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: EY/KS1 Qualified Teaching Assistant J...