YUSU have published an open letter condemning Dr. John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, after he stated that ministers should not overrule tradition on the issue of same-sex marriages. In the open letter, YUSU stated the views of Sentamu were “extremely disappointing.”
Dr. Sentamu, who is the second most senior cleric in the Church of England, gave an interview to The Daily Telegraph in which he said that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
YUSU have outlined their support of same-sex marriages, in the open letter, and expressed disapproval over Sentamu’s views. The letter went on to state that: “It is not the place of the church to use outdated and homophobic rhetoric to deny citizens of their right to marry.”
Cem Turhan, LGBT Officer, said that he was “extremely disappointed” by Sentamu’s “both reactionary and out of touch” views.
“It is not the place of the church to use outdated and homophobic rhetoric to deny citizens of their right to marry.”
YUSU Open Letter
He was supported by Tim Ellis, YUSU President, who commented that he: “would hope the Archbishop of York and the Church of England recognise that they are behind the times when it comes to their stance on same-sex marriage.”
Ellis also expressed his concern that Sentamu used arguments of tradition and language in attempting to legitimise illegal discrimination.
Sentamu equated ministers’ move to legalise gay marriage as that of decisions taken by dictators.
Turhan further stated that: “I feel that calling the consultation that the Government is begging in March ‘dictatorial’ is just wrong and offensive to all those who have suffered under brutal dictatorships of the past.”
YUSU LGBT are planning on holding a protest outside of York Minster. The Facebook group states the protests will “show our anger in the comments made, and the unified belief in equal marriage for all people.”
Same-sex marriage is not currently legal in the UK. In 2010 the Liberal Democrats became the first major political party to endorse gay marriage, and the government expressed its intention in 2011 to consult on legalising both religious same-sex ceremonies and civil marriage for same-sex couples.
Last September the government announced its decision to introduce same-sex civil marriage by the next general election.