Hull vicar attacks York Gay Pride march blessing

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image copyrightPA
image captionReverend Melvin Tinker has criticised York Minster's decision to bless a Pride march taking place in the city

A vicar has defended comparing homosexuality with paedophilia.

The Reverend Melvin Tinker, from Hull, also said York Minster's support for a gay pride march in the city was "absolutely inappropriate".

The Pride march was due to start from the Minster at 11:30.

The Hull and East Riding LGBT Christian Fellowship said Mr Tinker's comments were not representative of all Christians.

Mr Tinker, the vicar of St John Newland in Hull, made his comparison between homosexuality and paedophilia during an interview with Minster FM ahead of the march.

Speaking to BBC Radio Humberside afterwards he said: "Stealing a car is wrong, murdering someone is wrong, one's far worse than the other but the point is they both fall in to the immoral category that's simply the point I was making."

He said it was "out of place" for the Canon Michael Smith, from York Minster, to bless the parade "as if this has got the Church's blessing".

Mr Tinker said he had received a number of abusive emails since making the comments.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionReverend Melvyn Tinker said homosexuality was immoral

Mr Smith said his colleagues in the church were "perfectly at liberty" to hold Mr Tinker's view but "not all of us hold that understanding".

He said: "I'm standing up for being friendly and respectful and establishing good relationships with people with whom we are being encouraged in the Church of England to have conversations."

A spokesperson for York Minster said: "The Church of England is actively encouraging conversations around human sexuality and it is better to have those conversations with friends."

The Hull and East Riding LGBT Christian Fellowship said Mr Tinker's comments were not representative of all Christians

In a statement, it said: "Although we have a long way to go, that's not actually the view of people in the pews, and dare I say it probably isn't the view of the people that sit in his pews."

A spokesperson for gay rights campaign group Stonewall said: "The comments from Reverend Tinker demonstrate how much work we have left to do until we can say that lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people are truly equal in society.

"Pride is a celebration of the LGBT community, and it's sad to see someone of influence and regard spreading this kind of message."

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