(New York) – Pope Francis should condemn violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the Holy See. The pope should ensure that Catholic officials act in accordance with church teachings.
In its teachings as well as in public statements at the United Nations General Assembly, the Holy See has voiced the need to protect everyone’s human dignity. But too often Catholic Church officials around the world contradict these stated principles in speech and practice, Human Rights Watch said.
“It is encouraging to see Pope Francis taking a public stance against discrimination and violence and calling for a more inclusive church,” said Graeme Reid, LGBT rights director at Human Rights Watch. “What we ask is that Catholic Church officials adhere to church teachings and stand against violence and discrimination, including the bishops, who often wield considerable influence.”
Human Rights Watch expressed concern that the Holy See’s message is not always consistently conveyed to local religious communities around the world. Human Rights Watch cited instances from across the globe in which church officials have supported draconian and discriminatory legislation against LGBT people, contributing to a climate of impunity for violence and abuse against people in sexual and gender minorities.
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