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‘Being Homosexual Is A Sin But Not A Crime, Let’s Get The Distinction’ – Pope Francis

The head of the catholic church, Pope Francis, has spoken once again about the thorny issue of homosexuality.

The Pope, who spoke against laws that criminalize homosexuality says the practice is only a sin, but not a crime.

The Pope is of the view that laws criminalizing homosexuality are “unjust.”

He says God loves all his children just as they are. The pope thus called on Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church.

The Pope who was speaking in an interview with The Associated Press, said “Being homosexual is not a crime.

“It’s not a crime. Yes, but it’s a sin. Fine, but first let’s distinguish between a sin and a crime.”

He however added that, “It’s also a sin to lack charity with one another.”

Francis acknowledged that Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support laws that criminalize homosexuality or discriminate against the LGBTQ community. But he attributed these to cultural backgrounds, and said bishops in particular need to undergo a process of change to recognize the dignity of everyone.

“These bishops have to have a process of conversion,” he said. He urged them to apply “tenderness, as God has for each one of us.”

Countries who criminalize homosexuality

Some 67 countries or jurisdictions worldwide criminalize consensual same-sex sexual activity. According to The Human Dignity Trust, eleven of these countries can or do impose the death penalty. Experts say even where the laws are not enforced, they contribute to harassment, stigmatization and violence against LGBTQ people.

In the U.S., more than a dozen states still have anti-sodomy laws on the books. This is in spire of a 2003 Supreme Court ruling declaring them unconstitutional.

Gay rights advocates say the antiquated laws are used to harass homosexuals, and point to new legislation, such as the “Don’t say gay” law in Florida, which forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, as evidence of continued efforts to marginalize LGBTQ people.

The United Nations has repeatedly called for an end to laws criminalizing homosexuality outright. It says they violate rights to privacy and freedom from discrimination, and are a breach of countries’ obligations under international law to protect the human rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Declaring such laws “unjust,” Francis said the Catholic Church can and should work to put an end to them. “It must do this. It must do this,” he said.

Francis quoted the Catechism of the Catholic Church in saying gays must be welcomed and respected, and not discriminated against.

“We’re all children of God, and God loves us as we are and for the strength that each of us fights for our dignity.”

Such laws are common in Africa and the Middle East and date from British colonial times or are inspired by Islamic law.

Source – Tru News Report/With files from nbcnews

Frebetha Atieku Adjoh

News Editor, Lover of Arts & Entertainment

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