Kent: LGBT campaigners take part in Archbishop of Canterbury enthronement protest

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Several LGBT campaigners have taken part in a demonstration outside Canterbury Cathedral in Kent, amid the enthronement of Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury.

They joined around 150 other demonstrators who were protesting mainly against austerity and NHS cuts.

Local LGBT campaigner Ray Duff said it was a chance to highlight Archbishop Welby’s opposition to same-sex marriage and adoption rights for gay couples.

On Thursday, Archbishop Welby was formally sworn in as head of the Church of England and spiritual leader of the 77 million-strong Anglican global communion.

Ahead of his enthronement, Archbishop Welby told the BBC that while he supported the Church of England’s formal opposition to same-sex relationships; he acknowledged that some gay couples have loving, stable and monogamous relationships.

“You see gay relationships that are just stunning in the quality of the relationship,” he said.

Earlier on Thursday, it emerged that Archbishop Welby had agreed to meet with Peter Tatchell after the human rights campaigner urged him to support LGBT equality in an open letter on the eve of his enthronement.

Archbishop Welby welcomed the letter and responded to Mr Tatchell by saying: “I would like to explain what I think to you without the mediation of the press, and listen to you in return.”