Pope, Anglican, Presbyterian leaders denounce anti-gay laws

by | Feb 6, 2023 | Religion

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis was backed by the ceremonial head of the Anglican Communion and top Presbyterian minister in calling for gays to be welcomed by their churches as he again decried laws that criminalize homosexuality as unjust.The three Christian leaders spoke on LGBTQ rights during an unprecedented joint airborne news conference Sunday while returning home from South Sudan, where they took part in a three-day ecumenical pilgrimage to try to nudge forward the young country’s peace process.
They were asked about Francis’ recent comments to The Associated Press, in which he declared that laws that criminalize gay people were “unjust” and that “being homosexual is not a crime.”
South Sudan is one of 67 countries that criminalizes homosexuality, 11 of them with the death penalty. LGBTQ advocates say even where such laws are not applied, they contribute to a climate of harassment, discrimination and violence.
During the news conference on the way back to Rome, Francis specifically didn’t repeat that “being homosexual is not a crime,” perhaps to not antagonize his South Sudanese hosts, who had originally objected to his comments to the AP.
“If he (Pope Francis) is coming here and he tells us that marriage of the same sex, homosexuality, is legal, we will say no,” Michael …

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