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U.K. Archbishop: Marriage Equality Dictatorial Move

U.K. Archbishop: Marriage Equality Dictatorial Move

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A high-ranking official of the Church of England says U.K. prime minister David Cameron would be acting like a dictator in pushing for marriage equality.

Archbishop of York John Sentamu spoke to London's Daily Telegraph about the matter in an interview published Friday. The U.K. currently offers gay couples legal recognition in the form of marriage-like civil partnerships, but Cameron has said he wants to offer equal marriage rights instead. He plans to bring up the issue with Parliament soon.

"Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman," Sentamu, the second most senior cleric in his church, told the Telegraph. "I don't think it is the role of the state to define what marriage is. It is set in tradition and history and you can't just [change it] overnight, no matter how powerful you are. We've seen dictators do it in different contexts and I don't want to redefine very clear social structures that have been in existence for a long time and then overnight the state believes it could go in a particular way."

Sentamu said he expects Cameron to meet with opposition not only from religious leaders but from members of Parliament. "If you genuinely would like the registration of civil partnerships to happen in a more general way, most people will say they can see the drift," he said. "But if you begin to call those 'marriage,' you're trying to change the English language. That does not mean you diminish, condemn, criticize, patronize any same-sex relationships because that is not what the debate is about."

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.