Thomas Linden QC involved in Church of England Priest Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling


The claimant was a CoE Priest who had his permission to officiate revoked, and was refused an Extra Parochial Ministry License (EPML) when he married his husband. The claimant brought proceedings of unlawful direct discrimination under the Equality Act 2010, s 53.

The Appeal Tribunal dismissed the claimant’s appeal and held that the respondent Bishop’s actions fell within the scope of the exception in Schedule 9 to the 2010 Act (Religious requirements relating to sex, marriage etc., sexual orientation). The EPML was a qualification for the purposes of employment for the purposes of an organised religion and the teachings and beliefs of the religion defined marriage as between a man and a woman. The respondent had lawfully applied a requirement that the claimant not be in a same sex marriage so as to comply with the doctrines of the Church. It was not fatal to the conclusion that a different Bishop might have not done the same.

Thomas Linden QC was involved in this case.