Updated: CAMPAIGNERS gathered at York Minster to protest against comments made by the Archbishop of York about gay marriage.

Protesters were objecting to comments made by Dr John Sentamu, the second most senior cleric in the Church of England, who suggested that the Government should not overrule the Bible and tradition by allowing same-sex marriage.

His comments were described as “archaic” and “dated” by protesters, who held placards, made speeches and sang songs denonoucing Dr Sentamu’s words and calling for marriage equality.

One protester, 18-year-old Aaron Rawcliffe, of Clifton, handcuffed himself to a lamppost, with a sign at his feet bearing the words “Homophobia is so gay”.

Leon Morris, a student from the University of York, who was wearing a T-shirt bearing the slogan: “Love Music, Hate Homophobia”, said: “I’m gay and I was not very happy with the comments. I think what he said was archaic and it was a stab at the Government’s decision and at our community.”

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Dr Sentamu said he supported civil partnership, but said it was not for the Government to behave in a dictatorial fashion to overturn history and redefine “clear social structures” by allowing gay marriage.

He said: “If you genuinely would like the registration of civil partnerships to happen in a more general way, most people will say they can see the drift. But if you begin to call those marriage, you’re trying to change the English language.”

Tim Derbyshire, 39, a student of English Language and Linguistics at the University of York, said he was keen to support those at the protest. He said: “If the majority of the population started using a word, phrase or meaning it comes into play. The same thing has happened to gay marriage, if the population wants it, it can be made into law - things change.”

A number of police officers watched the good-natured demonstration from the sidelines.

Placards held high included slogans such as “God loves everyone. Why can’t the church?” as well as “Marriage equality for all” while crowds chanted “What do we want? Marriage equality. When do we want it? Now.”

Among the crowd was Jonathan Bonner, 56, who said he wanted to attend to give his support to the event, adding: “I have a personal discomfort with my church making life difficult for ordinary human beings.”

Dr Sentamu, who returned from a trip to Jamaica late yesterday, was unavailable to comment on the protest.