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Police are investigating racist emails sent to the Archbishop of York following controversial comments he made about same-sex marriage.
North Yorkshire Police say they are looking at the emails sent to Dr John Sentamu and are treating them as potential hate crimes.
A spokesman said: “We can confirm that a complaint has been received from the office of Archbishop John Sentamu, following the receipt of emails containing racially offensive statements.
“The emails are being investigated as a hate crime.”
Last month Dr Sentamu said ministers should not overrule the Bible by allowing same-sex marriage.
He said Prime Minister David Cameron would be like a “dictator” if he permitted homosexual couples to get married.
Dr Sentamu, the second most senior cleric in the Church of England, said marriage must remain a union between a man and a woman.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, the Archbishop said marriage was set in history and the state could not change it overnight.
Last week, around 100 protesters held placards and chanted songs outside York Minster as activists made speeches denouncing Dr Sentamu's words.
A spokeswoman for Dr Sentamu said: “Amongst many positive emails that he has received, there have been a small number of abusive and threatening emails of a racist nature which North Yorkshire Police are investigating as hate crimes.”