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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 June, 2005, 13:00 GMT 14:00 UK
Archbishop vows to ban homophobia
Bishop Sentamu
Archbishop Sentamu becomes the first black archbishop
The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, has told BBC News he wants to banish homophobia from the Church of England.

The archbishop told BBC Radio 4's Sunday programme homophobia had "no place" in the Church.

He wanted people to stop using "ghastly" language that implied people were "not human beings" because of their sexual orientation.

Archbishop Sentamu, who was born in Uganda, was appointed to the second highest post in the Church on Friday.

"I want to say to people, 'Please, please, please don't use such ghastly words,' because every human being regardless of their sexual orientation are standing in for God, each one of them is actually loved of God.

"And when you use language which implies they were not human beings who are you to do that because you did not create them?'"


The archbishop, the Church of England's first black archbishop, takes over from Dr David Hope, who quit in February to become a parish priest in Ilkley, West Yorkshire.

He described his appointment as "an exciting prospect" and was looking forward to "developing ways that will enable the Church of England to reconnect imaginatively with England".

Bishop Sentamu worked on inquiries into the 1993 racist killing of Stephen Lawrence and the stabbing of Nigerian schoolboy Damilola Taylor in 2000.

The 56-year-old was educated in Uganda, where he practised as a barrister and was an outspoken critic of Idi Amin's regime, before coming to the UK in 1974.

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