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 thoughts on “YUSU slams Archbishop over marriage remarks

  1. What on earth qualifies a YUSU president to enter in to such a debate and express such views? This is not an issue for a students union to be addressing. Believe it or not many students would agree with the comments expressed by the Archbishop. Don’t forget we have one of the largest Christian Unions in the north and I very much doubt many members would disagree with traditional marriage. Not to mention the countless other faith groups. Tim Ellis does not speak on behalf of all students and think it is a dangerous assumption to make that we all agree with redefining marriage. Marriage is not just about love – if that were the case we would have people marrying multiple people and siblings! Society needs to draw a line. Why should the onus be on us to defend traditional marriage which has lasted three thousand years and a model the vast majority of societies adopt and have done throughout history. The onus is on those who want change. Besides I’m sure there are gay people who do not wish to get married. Civil partnerships afford the same legal rights as marriage so why can’t they just leave the church alone to practice freely.

  2. Before we are most likely subjected to any pure, uncensored outrage, should we infur from Cem’s comment “it’s extremely disheartening for LGB students in York” that he feels transgender people shouldn’t be allowed to marry?

    As much as his position, nor the committee he chairs, shouldn’t be solely about the L, the G, the B or the T at the expense of the others, Cem is meant to represent all four groups, and it’s elected job to argue that trans people should have as much right to marry as anyone else.

  3. @Jessica: the current ban on gay marriage restricts religions that would like to perform such marriages from doing so. Surely the ban infringes upon their rights? Not all Christians, let alone all religious people, are against gay marriage.

    And the polygamy/marrying siblings argument is tired. If, in the future, there is sufficient support to see such marriages legalised, then they should be. Marriage is a social contract, and as such should reflect current mores.

  4. @Jessica: What gives the Christian church the right to say what marriage is? You said yourself that marriage has existed for three thousand years (which is not actually true – it has existed for much longer, but that’s irrelevant) but Christianity has only existed for a little over two thousand.

  5. @JB Many apologies from Vision, the leaving out of the ‘T’ from LGBT was an unintentional typo, not an anti-transgender statement. I am assured Cem is all about putting the T in LGBT.

  6. I think it sad that Archbishop Sentamu, who had such affirming comments to bring about Gays and Adoption, should go on to say what he has about the prospect of Gay Marriage. He is confusing those of us who really believe that committed, permanent relationshops between LGBT persons must be better than the option for uncommitted, casual relationships – such as are common in hetero- as well as homo-sexual liaisons – and thus worthy of the Blessing of the Church.

    However, as the Church is unwilling to oversee the commitment of permanent, faithful relationships between LGBT persons, it should not stand in the way of the government officially fulfilling that need.

    “Where Charity and Love are: there is God!” Maundy Thursday Liturgy.

  7. I’m sick and tired of the militant gay lobby forcing this stuff onto the agenda and acting like a persecuted people. LGBT people make up less than 3% of population yet want everyone else to change for them. It confuses children about gender roles and expectations of society, and only a man & woman can pro-create. The gay lifestyle is not something to be encouraged, as a lot of research shows it leads to a much lower life expectancy, psychological disorders, and other problems. The LGBT community needs to get its own house in order before it even attempts to challenge the rest of us. And what is with the transgender comments and focus when there are only a handful of trans students (to my knowledge) peddling even harder the ‘victim line’. When are people going to say enough is enough for this minority grouping.

  8. A backlash from YUSU. How ever will he survive. He must be quivering in his boots in fear…

  9. It’s secular civil partnerships that should be open to everyone, not just homosexual couples. The church can do what it likes with marriage – its a religious ceremony. If they want to be bigoted and exclude minorities from the institution that’s up to them. You get exactly the same legal status from a CP as Marriage.

  10. Whilst I think Jessica goes a bit over the top, I am inclined to agree with her in part.

    Tim Ellis words were his own opinion which, whilst completely correct in this case, shouldn’t be intentionally portrayed as the stance of YUSU without a democratic mandate being applied to those views.

    I hope this is an isolated incidence and he doesn’t take the approach his predecessor took of dictating YUSU policy and public statements through his own opinions. (I’m sure Vision will agree there…)

  11. Tim Ellis was elected by a cross campus ballot to represent student views, therefore in this capacity as an elected official he is fully within his rights to state his opinion on these kinds of matters. If you really feel he was out of line and wish to gauge the ‘true’ student view on this then I suggest you put it to a referenda.

  12. I’m kinda confused as to why everyone’s so surprised and outraged – I mean, did they think the bishop was going support gay marriage? He’s a bishop, it’s his job to say what the Bible says. It’s like asking the head of BP what he thinks about shutting down all oil industries and then holding a protest when he says he’d rather they stayed running.

  13. I have given my correct name, and if any of you wish to find and respond to me on Facebook, you are free to do so.

    I now write directly to “Jessica” and “James C”. I apologise if I am rather severe, but I believe that I am justified. Your comments concern me directly and personally, and I feel entitled to respond to them in a way that is fair and appropriate.

    I am exceedingly disappointed with both of you in your resonse to the debate referred to in this article, and hope I do not need to mention that, had you stood up and said precisely what you have written here in a live debate amongst people with at least some academic credibility, I am afraid I very sincerely believe that you would have been laughed out of the building.

    Both have you have made very serious allegations about myself, and the millions of people I am lumped together with in these sorts of debates, and have cited absolutely nothing in your rambles, a word which I believe they are correctly described I am afraid, and based your respective arguments on gravely fallacious critical grounds. I will not go into them here, although I shall do gladly if either of you contact me directly and privately.

    I now address myself more generally. It is none of my concern what the members of the church believe about the Christian instution of marriage, and likewise about any other practising religion. I was not particularly angered by the Archbishop’s comments, only aggrieved. In my opinion his comments are all the worse for members of the same institution, but that shouldn’t be forced on him or anyone else.

    I do, however, say this. If a legally binding marriage is performed within the practice of a religious institution, it is performed within the practice of a secular institution also. The religious element is not necessary for it to be legally binding. The secular element, however, is. Marriage may be both religious and secular, but it must be secular if it is to observe the laws of the land.

    Not all of us belong to the religious institution of the Church. All of us, however, belong to the insitution of the state, and the policy of the state must reflect the interest of all of its members as best it can, with as least bias as is practically possible.

    I feel it unfortunate that the president has been quoted as saying “I felt it necessary to show that York students do not hold the same archaic views as him” – because of course, some do, and that is not the issue, provided these views are not impinged on state affairs.

    The issue is this blurring of religion and the state, which is almost unbelievably bought into on all sides.

  14. @James C – your entire comment is scarily wrongheaded, but to pick out one point: it is true that LGBT people have higher rates of mental illness, particularly depression, and as such higher suicide rates. Claiming that being LGBT causes these problems is confusing correlation with causation – being gay is *doesn’t* inevitably lead to depression. It’s being gay in a society where, even now, you have to worry about how coming out will affect your relationship with your family and friends, that causes this problem.

  15. James C…I had to read your comment twice to make sure my eyes were not deceiving me!I have to admit I am thoroughly dissapointed to read a comment so closed minded when we are a generation that is meant to encourage equal rights movements (which do not exclude LGBT people) and the freedom to be who you wish to be. Put the shoe on the other foot, how would you feel if such prejudices were cast upon heterosexual people? Being a Christian myself find it difficult to accept the Church’s “no gay marriages” approach as the Bible I read instructs fellow Christians to “…love thy neighbour as you love yourself.” Not to love your neighbour as long as he’s not a LGBT person or a different ethnicity etc (I’m sure you get my point!!

    I can’t stop you from thinking or believing what you want, all I can ask of you is to respect other people’s life choices and not to be so judgemental about issues you clearly don’t fully understand. I’m sure you’ve made life choices which people don’t fully understand before, but as a civlised nation it’s important we respect each other!

  16. Okay, here we go.

    The important thing to state firstly is that I do not judge homosexuals. I do not believe they have a choice and there should be no discrimination against them.

    However, John Sentamu has a good point and he is right to stand up for his views and for unity as one flesh between a man and a woman.

    Even for those who disagree with him, why do they get so angry and call him a bigot? You have the right to disagree with him: no one would deny you that. That’s the beauty of our democracy. But let John Sentamu have his opinion and don’t resort to calling him outdated. (He even said he agrees with civil partnership, just highlighting that it isn’t the same as marriage and shouldn’t be.)

    Still, let’s remember to promote the good things about Christianity. We’re not here to hate. Jesus didn’t judge people. He loved everyone. But that doesn’t mean we can’t peacefully object to matters with which we disagree. As long as objection doesn’t turn to hatred.

  17. I’m sorry to say ‘concerned’ that if you take the view that gay marriage is permitted on a biblical level then you’re either reading upside down or a completely different text. Whether Christians like it or not the Bible makes its very clear what exactly marriage is and what a healthy relationship should look like – Christians have to defend this or admit its somehow wrong? You can’t pick and mix when it comes to faith based on scripture. There are some fundamentals you just don’t and can’t dilute or dismiss.

    I think you’ll also find Jesus did indeed judge;

    ‘For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.’ John 5:22

    ‘And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world.’ John 9:39


    This nonsense that Christianity is all about love and undersatnding is wrong. As Christians one is directed to judge, highlight sin and repent.

    I have to sympathise with one point; LGBT people make up less than 3% of the population yet they are uncomfortably vocal and shame themselves by the actions of those militant wings and ‘in your face’ homosexuals.


    @Naomi: Christianity is built by picking and mixing which parts of The Bible to believe in, and which to ignore. You can’t pretend that you listen to everything that The Bible states. So that isn’t really a useful tool for your argument. I’m sure you wear mixed fibres sometimes…

    The Bible also makes clear its stance on women and their place in the world – I doubt very much you listen to those parts, merely picking the bits that you agree with.

  19. a)What’s wrong with polygam/polyandry anyway?
    b)My faith as a general rule doesn’t have any problem with LGBT people marrying why should I be barred from allowing my faith to play a role in the ceremony?
    c)This isn’t about forcing clergy who don’t want to to perform marriages for LGBT people. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want a cleric who utterly dsagreed with me and my partner being there to perform my ceremony but there are loads of clergy out there from a huge number of faiths who would be happy to perform those services who are currently barred by law from doing so.
    d)Civil partnerships are not the same as marriage quite apart from the religious aspect there are dfferent grounds for dissolving one and Trans people cannot switch from one to the other (you must pay for a divorce/dissolution and then go through the process again)
    e)yes LGBT people do have a higher incidence of mental health issues but when you consider we grow up wth people telling us we’re wrong and unnatural and feelng that it’s acceptable to call us names, bully us, beat us up and kill us for no other reason than the people we love and it’s only very recently we’ve seen any sort of legal protections is it any wonder we succumb to depression, PTSD and host of other mental illnesses? We live in a world where around 50% of trans people will have committed or attempted suicide before the age of 25 firstly naturally that’s going to drag our average life expectancies down a bit secondly what right to you have to try and perpetuate a world where that statistic is a fact of life for me and others lke me?

  20. @Naomi

    You make Christianity sound like a horrible, judgmental, sin-obsessed religion. Which is funny, because the vast majority of Christians I know aren’t like that at all. Now, I’m not a Christian – but some of my best friends are. In fact, one could be led to believe that the real problem is the small pack of uncomfortably vocal Christian bigots that, after all, make up less than [partisan-unstatistically-backed-up]% of the population but who shame themselves by the actions of those militant wings and ‘in your face’ Christians.

  21. At the end of the day, I can think of far worse things then man who dedicated his life to something which has a very good chance of not being true telling you he doesn’t want you to be joined in union under a “faith” which has been based upon repression and guilt of the masses. Frankly as a straight person LGBT people deserve to be allowed to marry under the church if clergy are willing to partake in the ceremony, but the real question is do you want to be associated with such a pathetic institution?

  22. The church can never accept gay marriage as that will simply destroy them. Too many people and groups will simply split off in protest.

    Plus gay marriage isn’t going through anytime soon. Expect a considerable Tory rebellion if Cameron proceeds along this path. A lot of tories feel the party has done more than enough to modernise and accept alternative lifestyles.

    As for the Lords…do you really expect a bunch of pensioners to agree to such proposals?

    With the economy tanking and people suffering, nobody has an interest in the Archbishop’s comments or the campaign for gay marriage.

  23. to the people who dislike my above comments, frankly its the the truth, by disliking it you are merely lying to yourself. By disagreeing with the pure facts that show the Church has a very negative history, exploiting the masses, supporting some of the most barbaric wars in history (crusades), widespread peadophilia, a nazi youth being the pope etc etc your just in denial. Also there is a good chance Christianity is based upon fiction, look at all the religions which have died out in the past let alone the fact there is no actual proof for gods existence. Frankly this blinded devotion to “faith” or what rational individuals called blind hopefulness and lies really does support the idea that Christianity is outdated and unable to comprimise in its outdated view point.

  24. The arrogance of some of the people arguing in this thread is outrageous.

    I agree that LGBT people should marry (I don’t agree with the aggressive stance from some Officers, I think Mr Ellis and Mr Turhan may have their eyes on some pre-election publicity and support).

    The archbishop’s comments are wrong, but equally wrong are the people such as Lets all take a step back who think its acceptable to attack people’s religion and tar all Christians with the same brush.

    I’d encourage people to read Nell Beecham’s blog, one of the few people who’ve actually bothered to consider the wider issue rather than just descend into rage.

  25. why not take a step forward, the very nature of religion is to be a part of a collective, and by that one can “tar them with the same brush” as they have expressed a similar set of ideals and view points by joining together to express similar beliefs. Also i wasnt attacking i was merely making a point that for a group LGBT are very progressive, why would they want to be associated with such a religion that has a history of being unkind while pretending it is, thats not me attacking them, i know there are some good christians but as a religion it has a rather flawed set of beliefs it portrays as compared to the actions it actually does.

  26. I genuinely don’t understand what the protest is supposed to achieve (when I walked past it at about 1:15 there were more photographers than protesters). Sentamus has stated his support for civil partnerships which do exactly what marriages do; WHY is there this urge to push a very unwilling church into something it doesn’t want to do? What is so special about a marriage that a civil partnership is not? And why would you expect the church to be vocally supportive of something which they are inherently against? It’s like asking Jeffrey Archer if he’d be against banning very poor novels. 5th horseman above nailed it.

    And the comments remind me that the only thing worse than fundamental christians are fundamental atheists. And I say that as an atheist.

  27. As a gay Christian who keeps their sexuality hidden I’m shocked by the nature
    Of some of the PostS here. It just shows why people like me continue to live a
    Lie ashamed of what we are. If I could take a magic straight poll then believe me I
    Would rather than live this life hating myself. I hate being what I am and having to
    Pretend all the time so I keep my friends in the church and not disappoint my family.
    I don’t want this to turn into a “poor old me” story and I’m sorry if it sounds that way
    Yet I’m actually disgusted at what I am so when people talk Of this being some lifestyle
    Choice, believe me it isn’t. Hiding behind a mask, a built up Persona of how I want
    People to view me instead of being truthful. Being at university and seeing people
    Happy wIth who they are kills me everyday inside. I’m terrified to even look at someone
    I’m attracted to in case they notice Or worse still someone else. I live the biggest lie Yet
    I’d rather that than be gay I’m afraid.

  28. Writing directly to “G”.

    Although it’s a separate, if closely related, issue to topic of the interview mentioned in the article, I would like you to be nonetheless aware that there are hundreds of students at this university, myself included, who aren’t disgusted by you, and furthermore would like nothing better than to see all people who wish to make the committed aspect of their relationship regardless of the genders of those involved be officially and legally recognised in a way that is universally accessible to all, and implies no bias towards couples of a specific gender composition.

    There are plenty of people who hold this view, and it has little to do with religion. Coming out is never a bag of banana fritters, and I can easily understand your reasons for not doing so.

    If you recognise me on campus, feel free to introduce yourself and I’ll be happy to talk to you about whatever you like.

  29. how strange and unfortunate it is that katie price may marry and remarry as many times as she pleases yet homosexual individuals are still denied that basic right. if people are concerned same-sex marriage would ruin the principles of marriage, they must consider how marriage in this day and age is increasingly been undermined as a traditional institution of society. just my thoughts yo…

  30. @James C – Really? That’s really your view? LGBT might be a minority, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t important or that they don’t have a right to equality. Also you said; “it confuses children about gender roles and expectations of society, and only a man & woman can pro-create”. You think that gender roles should be defined, and that children can’t learn how reproduction happens? Just take a minute and listen to yourself, or put yourself in the shoes of those who you claim are in the wrong. These people have to put up with others telling them what to do, so why can’t they want change?

    @Wibble says: I might be wrong, but this push for gay marriage is probably due to religious LBGTs or the fact that there is a more traditional/accepted view of a marriage and that some people want the equality in calling it marriage.

  31. Ok, so not many people understand Christianity who comment on this post, so I shall explain.

    1) Christianity is a religion which is serious about sin. And so sin takes up a lot of time. The Gospel, why Christ came and what he did, is not about how a man called Jesus came to tell everyone to be nice and get along. He came to die on a cross as a vicarious substitute for the punishment for sins.

    The result is that we Christians take sin seriously. Christ died to pay the price for our sins. Our response is obedience to how God says we are to live our lives. Man cannot be saved by obedience to the law, because all sin and fall short of the glory of God. But as we are saved by Christ, engrafted into his covenant community, we are bound to obey his laws, those being the 10 commandments.

    And this includes how we use our bodies. The Bible, which is God’s very words, is clear: all sexual activity outside marriage, which is defined as between one man and one woman, is sinful. That includes homosexuality. It also includes lustful thoughts and all extramarital sex.

    2) The “I am just the way I am” argument doesn’t stand in a Christian worldview. The Bible teaches that man in his natural unregenerate state is incapable of being obedient to God, and more than that, he doesn’t want to. He is God’s enemy. And so our hearts are set on evil desires and the “passions of the flesh”.

    When we are saved, we are given a new heart which desires obedience to God. The Christian life is all about learning to let go of those desires that used to define us, and putting on the desire to obey God. And this is painful, becuase it involves letting go of all those things that we think are intrinsic to us, including our right to decide a) what is right and wrong (which was the first sin in the garden of eden), and often b) who we can fall in love with. The Christian life is about self denial: acknowledging that our beings are fundamentally currupt and bringing ourselves more in line with God’s will.

    Thats why the Gospel is offencsive.

    One more thing: please let go of the silly “you wear two types of materials in your clothes” type arguments. It is ignorant of basic theology. Christ did away with the ceremonial and state law of Israel, which was there for a purpose of being analogous to purity and sin (clenliness and unclenliness). Go read some theology books then come back with some better arguments. I suggest Calvin’s “Institutes of the Christian religion”.

    There you go: a crash course to orthodox (not as in eastern) reformed Christian theology.

  32. To be honest, I was more disappointed than angry at the Archbishop’s comments. In the past, he has supported civil partnerships, same-sex couples adopting children, whilst also condemning Uganda’s infamous anti-LGBT laws. So, it was disappointing for him to come and say that the PM would be acting like a dictator if same-sex marriage was legally recognised.

    Even if the difference between legal recognition of mixed-sex couples and legal recognition of same-sex couples is in name only, this still means that the state and the law are concerned with the gender of my partner. As a bisexual man, I am not concerned with gender. Love is love and marriage is marriage; why is gender such an issue?

    I am also further disappointed by all this talk of the “militant gays.” I think that James C needs to stop being so fixated with gender roles. It’s not exactly “militant” to want your relationship with your partner to be legally recognised, and to enjoy the same priviliges that those in mixed-sex marriages enjoy. It’s not “militant” to want to have the same rights as heterosexual cisgenderd individuals.

  33. @ Dan

    Within the logic of your argument you are of course correct. But, last time I checked, a hard-line orthodox perspective did not have a strangehold on Christian belief in this country. It’s interesting you mention Calvin’s Institutes – which I have read as it happens, though I do not suggest as thoroughly as you’ve probably read it. But I will use that to make an observation which I intend in all seriousness. I presume you would not disagree that, from the Early Fathers on, there has been *some* interpretation and disagreement and concomitantly change and development in that which is interpreted to be lawful and sinful. In 2.8.54 Calvin writes (in translation) ‘our life shall best confirm to God’s will and the prescription of the law when it is in every respect most fruitful for our brethren’ (I admit I take this out of context). We have seen above some viewpoints from liberal Christians; there were liberal Christians joining in the protest. By using Calvin as your guide and taking what by the standards of today is a hard-line orthodox stance on issues such as same-sex marriage, I suspect that you may end up driving some people away from Christianity entirely. From a liberal viewpoint, it seems more fruitful to encourage them towards Christianity even if that involves development in interpretation than to scare them off with hard core orthodoxy.

  34. @ V

    You are fundamentally misunderstanding what is meant by “fulfill the law”. Christ came to fulfil the law: to live the perfect life and then to pay the price for our failures in an atoning sacrifice upon the cross (hense “fulfill”, referring to what he was to accomplish). What he fulfilled in the law is its demands for justice and payment for disobedience. Thus, the law, that being the moral law, still stands as a guide for life, but for Christians no longer brings damnation as a yardstick by which we are judged. So I don’t pick and choose: I believe what that passage says. Quoting verses you can google is pointless unless you understand where they stand in systematic theology.

    In terms of the end of the ceremonial law, check out Galations 3:1-3, Acts 10:1-29,

    @ Ed C

    thanks for the civility. It is much appreciated. I know the conservative wing of the Church is not the dominant section of the Church today, so what I say now will probably ruffle some feathers. Liberal Christianity is wrought with heresy. Pantheistic doctrines of God abound, denial of Biblical miricles, denial of the virgin birth, permitting what the Bible declares to be sinful, denying the Word of God to be such. It is a completly different religion. So I would rather not twist God’s word to mean something it was never meant to mean.

    You are correct, there has been some differences over how to interpret texts. But we have had 2000 years of exegesis of the Word of God, and through that time we have developed better understandings of what the word says. What Liberalism does is not develop reading of texts, but to bring in brand new “interpretations”. In order to read the Bible to make permissible that which was impermissible involves not exegesis, but eisogesis: reading in one’s own external views in order to get the answer one wants.

    I am a Calvinist. I believe in God’s sovereignty in salvation. I also believe in man’s total inability to turn to God, and his lack of desire to do so, without God first changing their heart. And I believe that where God’s Word is preached and proclaimed in truth, God speaks, and when God speaks things are created and hearts are changed. So as for driving people away from Christianity: people are already walking away from God, it is only the preaching of God’s word truthfully which will turn people around.

  35. Being gay is a sin. In thought and action. Period.

    Let us not debate a fundamental truth.

    As such ‘marriage’ doesn’t even enter the discussion.

  36. 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!!!

  37. @ 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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?


  40. 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!

  41. 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.

  42. 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)

  43. 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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