A CLERGYMAN from Salisbury has been banned from taking services in Winchester because he married his gay partner last year.
Canon Jeremy Davies, who served as Canon Precentor at Salisbury Cathedral for more than 25 years, has been told he cannot preach in the Winchester Diocese because he married opera singer Simon McEnery.
Mr McEnery criticised the Church of England's "institutional homophobia" and urged others to write to the The Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Revd Tim Dakin, to share their views on the controversial decision.
Many people reacted angrily on Facebook, condemning the decision as "medieval", "outrageous", "totally unacceptable" and "disgraceful".
Bishop of Winchester bans Rev Jeremy Davies from taking services because he's married to Simon. Homophobia alive and well in the C of E.— Sheelagh Wurr (@Wurrdy) December 12, 2015
Mr McEnery told the Journal that Winchester Cathedral had recently asked Canon Davies to take a number of services in the future, which he will now not be allowed to carry out.
He said the Bishop had objected to the fact that the couple of almost thirty years had married in 2014.
Since the wedding, Canon Davies has taken more than half a dozen services in Winchester Cathedral, with no objections.
In fact, he has been much in demand since his retirement, preaching and lecturing regularly both in the UK and the United States, said Mr McEnery.
@SalisburyCath I'm disgusted by Winchester Cathedral's decision over Canon Jeremy Davies, they bring shame on Cofe. We love Jeremy here— Olid~star (@lidstar) December 12, 2015
A spokesman for the Winchester Diocese said: "Canon Jeremy Davies made an application earlier this year for permission to officiate in the Diocese of Winchester.
"Due to the Church of England's position on same sex marriage, as set out in the House of Bishops’ Pastoral Guidance, Canon Jeremy Davies has been informed that his application has been unsuccessful."