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Laws criminalising LGBT people are 'sin': Pope Francis

WION logo WION 05-02-2023 manas.joshi
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Pope Francis on Sunday (February 5) said unequivocally that laws criminalising LGBT people were a 'sin' and an 'injustice'. The Pope said that God loves and accompanies people with same-sex attraction. Pope Francis made the remark when he was aboard the plane returning from a two-country trip to Africa.

"The criminalisation of homosexuality is a problem that cannot be ignored," said Francis, who then cited unnamed statistics according to which 50 countries criminalise LGBT people "in one way or another" and about 10 others have laws including the death penalty for them.

Sixty-six UN member states continue to criminalise consensual same-sex sexual relations, according to data from ILGA World – the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. In several countries where same-sex relations are illegal, punishments can include a possible death penalty.

"This is not right. Persons with homosexual tendencies are children of God. God loves them. God accompanies them ... condemning a person like this is a sin. Criminalising people with homosexual tendencies is an injustice," Francis said.

Pope Francis noted that Catechism, or book of teachings, says  same-sex attraction is not a sin but homosexual acts are. It also says that LGBT people should not be marginalised.

Francis mentioned his now-famous phase from soon after he became pope in 2013 that he could not judge people with same-sex tendencies who are seeking God. He also noted that while visiting Ireland in 2018 he said that parents could not disown their LGBT children, but had to keep them in a loving family.

(With inputs from agencies)

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