YUSU slams Archbishop over marriage remarks

YUSU has come out in force to condemn the Archbishop of York’s recent comments warning ministers against legalising gay marriage.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Bishop John Sentamu declared that he strictly believes that “marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman” and seemingly disparaged government plans to change the law later this year.

The remarks have since seen a rebuttal to the article posted by YUSU President Tim Ellis on Saturday, and a protest at the Minster has been planned by YUSU LGBT for Wednesday afternoon.

On the YUSU blog, Ellis condemned Bishop Sentamu’s remarks, saying, “I would argue that it is the state’s responsibility to ensure that all UK citizens can enjoy equal rights regardless of their sexual orientation. It is not the place of the church to use out-dated and homophobic rhetoric to deny citizens of their right to marry.”

Tim Ellis told Vision that he felt the blog post was necessary as he “felt ashamed to be a member of the same city as the Archbishop. He is indirectly a spokesperson for York and I felt it necessary to show that York students do not hold the same archaic views as him.”

LGBT officer Cem Turhan shared a similar sentiment, telling Vision that “it’s disappointing to hear such comments from Dr John Sentamu considering he is usually one to represent minorities in our communities.”

“Marriage has always been, and always should be, a way in which two people can express their love and devotion for each other and should not be limited. I think it’s extremely disheartening for LGBT students in York, and I feel upset that I am publically marginalised by such an influential figure.”

The protest, which currently has 122 attendees on Facebook, is set to go ahead Wednesday Week 4 at 1pm and is open to all.

48 Comments

  1. J
    03 February 2012 - 10:55 BST

    I think this highlights exactly what is so effed up about this whole dumb protest. Now look what you have started Cem Turnham! Dr Semantu was just saying he believes marriage should be a religious institution! NO WAY was he saying that gay relationships were a bad thing. Now all of you lot have gone out of control and all that’s been created is REAL HOMOPHOBIA!!!! I used to feel safe at this uni, now I’m questioning that!!!

  2. Ed C
    03 February 2012 - 11:31 BST

    @ Dan

    In turn, I appreciate the internal consistency and rigour of your argument. While – as a non-Christian LGBT person – I don’t share your beliefs, I do understand why you believe what you do.

  3. Alex H
    03 February 2012 - 17:03 BST

    To be honest these protesters seem like a load of attention seekers, more concerned about getting in the papers than making any real changes. Cem has been a prime example in simply wanting his name out there and having the audacity to request a meeting with the Archbishop himself. The protest has been way overblown as they could only muster 70 at the most and to be honest it looked a lot less when I walked past. So much for Tim Ellis speaking on behalf of thousands of us! They even had to rely on protesters coming from other towns. Absolute joke for this to even attract this attention.

  4. Its all rather funny
    03 February 2012 - 21:38 BST

    Have to agree with a above comment. These were a few dozen publicity hungry students with a lot of time on their hands. It is actually quite amusing that Cem has asked for a meeting with the Archbishop. He isn’t the leader of some mass movement; just some attention loving vocal students. many people have told me how there were more press people than actual protesters during most of the day.

    How many of the protesters are actually represented by the Archbishop?

    Exactly.

  5. Mr P
    04 February 2012 - 13:06 BST

    Goodness, people actually think it was nothing more than a stunt? They actually think that, as LGBT folk, we are not interested in real change, that we don’t want our second-class treatment to stop, that we don’t want the same rights as our fellow citizens?

    This may have been just me, but I may have been more comfortable without the cameras and journalists, because I would be allowed to express my views without the risk of outing myself to homophobic family members via the news. But, even with the journalists, I still went because it was a risk I was willing to take so that I could take a stand for what I believe in. How dare you try and paint this as nothing more than a publicity stunt! Your arrogance has the depth of a bottomless pit!

    And how dare you assume that we care more about attention than we do about marrying the person we love and want to be with!

  6. william chin
    04 February 2012 - 13:16 BST

    The above comments are bang on the money, If you look at the York vision article which covers the protest. There is no more than 70 protesters, and it is clear from some of the pictures that they were more interested in posing for pictures than actually protesting. I think it is sad that they caused disruption to people trying to peacefully worship, just because one my stressed his opinion. Are we not allowed to hold our own opinions any more? As for the two YUSU idiots, they are clearly using this as an opportunity to get their names out there, whether it be for potential re-election or because they want potential employers to see them in news headlines. Either way they massive failure of the protest ( I call it a failure as Tim Ellis claimed to be writing on behalf of all students, if that was the case where were the hundreds if not thousands which protested about tuition fees?)

    People need to sit up and realise that the YUSU big wigs don’t do this to help students they do it to cling onto 1 maybe 2 extra years of uni then spring board of into a job. Nwenga often made comments on behalf of the students which only had minority backing and now Ellis is doing it to.

  7. Emily
    04 February 2012 - 14:14 BST

    In my humble opinion, if the Archbishop had limited his statements to saying that the PM would be like a dictator if he tried to push the church to permit gay marriages, he would have been right. As far as I can tell, the situation should be the same as for divorced people wishing to marry someone else – at the church’s discretion. Marriage as a religious ceremony is going to have to go with the teachings of that religion. Marriage as a legal binding of people does not need to take place in a church, or be performed by a priest. As far as I can tell, the Archbishop has every right to say that the church should not allow gay church weddings – it is their belief, and their choice. He doesn’t have the right to say gay marriage should not be allowed anywhere in the country.Same as any religious leader has the right to either allow or disallow based upon the teaching of their particular faith.
    (All this being said, despite my own faith I believe that no loving God could truly be against any kind of pure love, and I also don’t quite understand the difference between marriage and a civil partnership)

  8. Harry
    04 February 2012 - 21:25 BST

    For one of the protesters to wear an ‘I am Awesome’ t-shirt whilst parading protest banners is just one example of the egotistical nature of the whole protest in people wanting their faces out there. It does nothing to dispell gay stereotypes of loud, in your face people valuing their own voice over that of anyone or anything else.

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