The original article was reported here.
A shorter version was published by the Guardian as Redefining marriage to include same-sex couples would benefit nobody.
Both of those contain a number of reader comments. In addition:
The Guardian published a number of letters on the topic on Monday under the headline Sentamu’s flaws over gay marriage. Authors include Richard Harries, Mark Oakley and Iain McLean.
From Richard Harries:
The archbishop of York wants to keep marriage as a separate category but regards civil partnerships as an honourable expression of a committed relationship; that marriage and civil partnerships are in fact complementary, equal but different (Not equality but justice, 18 May). He pleads for time for civil partnerships to gain greater public understanding.
The great flaw in his argument is that he does not urge the church to bless such partnerships. This would do more than anything to obtain that greater public understanding he says he wants. Now that the government appears to have dropped its idea of legalising gay marriages, it is a chance for the Church of England to make amends for the reluctance with which it accepted civil partnerships in the first place, and to take the lead in declaring unequivocally that such committed relationships are to be warmly celebrated before God.
Crossbench, House of Lords
Cif Belief has published an article by Iain McLean John Sentamu’s claims on civil partnerships are false.
John Sentamu, the archbishop of York, recently posted a long statement explaining his opposition to same-sex marriage. Some of it appeared in the Guardian and on Comment is Free. In it he referenced an interview he recently gave to the Daily Telegraph, which contains the following statement: “We [the bishops in the House of Lords] supported civil partnerships, because we believe that friendships are good for everybody.”
Like other religious opponents of same-sex marriage, he goes on to argue that civil partnership is “in every respect in ethical terms an honourable contract of a committed relationship”. Same-sex couples, he therefore says, should not press for marriage.
But his factual claim is false. The main Lords debate on the civil partnership bill took place in June 2004. Richard Harries, then bishop of Oxford, did indeed signal Church of England support for civil partnerships. But his efforts were contradicted by the five conservative bishops who spoke on the other side. Going by the bishops’ contributions to debate, the score is 5/3 against. Going by the bishops’ votes, it is 6/1 against. Six bishops voted for a successful wrecking amendment in the name of Lady O’Cathain, which made the bill unworkable. Only the Commons’ insistence on rejecting the O’Cathain amendment made it possible to enact civil partnerships…
The Church Times has this report by Ed Thornton Dr Sentamu challenged over his views on gay marriages.