World: Has the UN something to say to Sentamu?

Archbishop of York is one step too far behind the times.

As UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon implores African nations to do more to promote homosexual equality on a continent famed for homophobic legislation, I suggest Archbishop of York John Sentamu takes note. Sentamu uttered the retrogressive statement recently that same-sex marriage shouldn't be legalised as a man should only wed a woman. Concerned about the drift of black Anglicans towards pentecostal churches, Sentamu appears to pander to discriminatory attitudes. He stressed that civil parterships were supported by the Church of England on the grounds that his faith believes friendships should be encouraged. No mention of love, fidelity or consummation. That would undoubtedly disgust the bigoted amongst the faithful.

The Church of England would be advised to embrace modern thinking if it is to survive. Traditionalists will support more backward-looking religions. Anglicans ought to concentrate their diminishing fire-power on environmental polluters, social evils, political mis-steps and drifts towards military conflict. And they should listen to the wisdom of the United Nations top brass when it comes to the rights of men and women who pursue independent or off-beat lifestyles.

Sentamu is right to refer to and scorn the racist attitudes which in the past often permeated the Anglican church, but he is wrong to distance himself from homosexual law reform at a time of global social renewal.

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