AROUND 100 protesters descended on York Minster today in protest at the Archbishop of York’s comments over gay marriage.
During the protest, held on the steps of the Minster, Dr John Sentamu’s comments, made over the weekend, that marriage must remain a union between a man and a woman, were condemned as “hurtful and archaic”.
Demonstrators held placards and chanted songs outside York Minster as activists made speeches denouncing Dr Sentamu’s words.
The noisy, but good-natured demonstration, was sparked by comments made by the Archbishop in which he said ministers should not overrule the Bible by allowing same-sex marriage.
He said Prime Minister David Cameron would be like a “dictator” if he permitted homosexual couples to get married.
Dr Sentamu, the second most senior cleric in the Church of England, said marriage must remain a union between a man and a woman.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, the Archbishop said marriage was set in history and the state could not change it overnight.
His comments were condemned by those attending the protest outside the gothic cathedral.
Cem Turhan, 20, a second year philosophy and politics student, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender officer at York University, organised today’s protest. He said he hoped to meet the Archbishop to discuss his comments.
He said: “We have come here today to show our anger at Dr Sentamu’s comments.
“We are showing unity and coming together with the aim of spreading the message about same-sex marriage.
“What he said was completely wrong. Marriage is a civil right, we should not allow religion to dictate what it is.”
Following the speeches, some protesters sang songs on the steps of the Great West Door as members of the public looked on.
Dr Sentamu returned to the UK from a trip to Jamaica today, the Yorkshire Post understands. He is not expected to comment on today’s protest.
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