I would “never” describe homosexuality as a sin – Archbishop John Sentamuadvocate of the Supreme Court of Uganda, now the Archbishop of York has said he would “never” describe homosexuality as a sin.
Archbishop John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu appeared on Good Morning Britain Wednesday morning, where he took part in a wide-ranging debate about LGBT rights with host Piers Morgan.
In the segment, Mr Morgan asked the second-ranked Archbishop in the Church of England about the church’s views on gay marriage following Sunday’s attack, which took place in a gay club in Florida.
Morgan also challenged the religious leader on staunch opposition to equal marriage.
The Archbishop affirmed that while he still has personal objections with same-sex marriage, he believes in LGBT equality generally, and does not consider homosexuality to be a sin.
Asked whether homosexuality is a sin, he insisted: “I would never say that. I would never say that, because sin is doing something consciously against God.”
Asked if he was discarding parts of the Bible that condemn homosexuality, he said: “The whole of scripture must be read in context, you can’t just pick up a verse and say ‘because it says this’… that would be a nightmare.
Morgan said: ‘What if I said to you that you can come to this country as a Ugandan born man but because of the colour of your skin you can only have a civil partnership, you can’t have a real one.
However, the Archbishop appeared offended after Piers Morgan attempted to contrast his views with discrimination based on race.Dr Sentamu’s views strongly contrast with the Anglican Church of Uganda, which takes a hardline stance on homosexuality.
However, he maintained his stance on marriage.
The religious leader continued: “You can still have your view on marriage and at the same time be intolerant of homophobia.
“I support civil partnerships because I think that’s a matter of equality, and a matter of fairness, but for me, it was wrong for the Government to try to redefine the nature of marriage.”
He said: “My upholding of Christian marriage as I understand it goes hand-in-hand with saying to people, ‘to diminish homosexual people is anathema to the Christian faith because God loves us all equally.”
About Archbishop John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu
Sentamu was born in 1949 in a village near Kampala, Uganda, the sixth of 13 children.
He studied law (LL.B.) at Makerere University, Kampala, and practiced as an advocate of the High Court of Uganda until 1974, being briefly a judge of the High Court.
In 1973 he married Margaret. Three weeks after his marriage he incurred the wrath of Idi Amin and was detained for 90 days. In a speech in 2007, he described how during that time he had been “kicked around like a football and beaten terribly”, saying “the temptation to give up hope of release was always present”.
He fled Uganda to arrive as an immigrant in the United Kingdom in 1974. On 17 June 2005, UK’s prime minister’s office announced Sentamu’s translation to York as the 97th archbishop.
He was formally elected by the chapter of York Minster on 21 July, legally confirmed as archbishop at St Mary-le-Bow, London on 5 October, and enthroned at York Minster on 30 November 2005.
As Archbishop of York, Sentamu sits in the House of Lords and was admitted, as a matter of course, to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.