It really breaks my heart every time I hear yet another story about how some religious person is taking out their doctrine on the LGBT crowd. I, personally, am not religious, but I will respect a person's theological beliefs........until he/she starts hurting another person because of what he/she believes. That is by far crossing the line. Bigotry based on religion is unacceptable.
But it always baffles me when a religious figurehead, especially one followed by literally millions, if not billions, of people, attacks an entire population of gay people. The Pope is guilty this time.
In light of Portugal's triumphant legalization of gay marriage, the Pope had the following to say. In a speech directed at environmental issues, the Pope spoke about the protection of endangered species, including humans. "One such attack comes from laws or proposals which, in the name of fighting discrimination, strike at the biological basis of the difference between the sexes." He specifically mentioned "certain countries in Europe and North and South America," obviously alluding to Portugal's and Mexico City's very recent legalization. He also noted, "Freedom cannot be absolute."
Pardon my British swearing, but what a load of bollocks.
The Pope is also known widely in the LGBT community for his outspoken opinion on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa when he said last March that condoms only "aggravate" the HIV problem. Aggravate??? Really? REALLY??? He preaches that the only true way to prevent the spread of the terrible virus is through 100% abstinence. Yeah, because that'll ever happen (not that any of us even want it to).
On a similar note, the Muslim church is also having a severe effect on the LGBT community. The Albert Kennedy Trust, a charity for homeless youth, reports an increasing number of LGBT youth seeking their help because they cannot live with their families anymore. For many reasons, not limited to "threats of physical violence, actual violence and restriction of liberties," many young gay people are fleeing their homes as far away as the Middle East to this charity in the UK.
A trust worker said, "We've had people chased out of the house with knives and we have had issues around young people who had exorcisms planned to get rid of the gay demons." Muslim families simply will not tolerate having a gay child, and often try to force the kids into marriages to cure them of their ailment. The LGBT youth are forced to flee, often for fear of their lives.
This kind of discrimination--no, torture, is not only appalling but heart-breaking. I can believe that any parents would ever try to kill his/her child because of that child being gay. I've heard some scary stories, but this is by far up near the top of horrible human flaws.
I'm just gonna end with this: I genuinely hope I never meet one of these horrible parents, because they are not going to like me at all when I'm done with them.
Links: Advocate article, Pink News article 1, Pink News article 2