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For Immediate Release

Pope Confronts the United Nations and the Catholic Catechism On Gay Rights

(December 9, 2008)-- Pope Benedict XVI has been described as God's Rottweiler, Panzercardinal and once again he earns these names. Acting as the Catholic General leading the dirty war on Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender (GLBT) Community in the international community he has become the symbol of hate. We are now witnessing a new elevation in the Vatican's war on same sex human rights at the United Nations.

Benedict's envoy to the United Nations, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, has announced that the Vatican will oppose a proposed U.N. declaration calling for an end to discrimination against homosexuals. This should come as no surprise to many Catholics, and in particular to the members of the Rainbow Sash Movement. But this particular French-sponsored proposal, which has the backing of all 27 European Union countries, calls for an end to t he practice of criminalizing and punishing people for their sexual orientation. Most dramatically, in some countries, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, homosexuality can be punished by death.

The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual persons "must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided," as stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church ( paragraph 2358). The Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) is challenging the Vatican to explain its opposition to the United Nations Proposal in light of paragraph 2358 of the Cathical Catechism, or stop engaging in semantic gymnastics on the issues of human rights.

Many GLBT Catholics yearn for the openness and stimulating atmosphere of a welcoming Church. We have been angered over the Church's lack of mercy and compassion in a world that is so desperately in need of it. Many across the Catholic spectrum will feel conflicted and disappointed at the Vatican position because of its lack of respect, compassion, and sensitivity?

The Vatican's opposition will only enable hatred and give license to violence to be openly directed at GLBT people. The Rainbow Sash Movement condemns the Vatican=2 0position as yet another example where homophobia and clericalism collide when it comes to human rights.

We are preparing to celebrate Christmas, when Jesus Christ came to us in a very special way. It is a good time for the Vatican to stand back and take a fresh look at itself in light of the “signs of the times”, you cannot serve both homophobia and Christ in the Church of 21st Century. The greatest problem facing the Catholic Church today comes from within. We will continue to stand up to Church leaders when the gospel is used as a platform to launch hate.

It is a great sellout for the Catholic Church to insist that it has much to teach us about human rights, but little useful to say about social justice issues for Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender people. This Pope is trying to redfine human rights and gay rights as opposites to the astonishment of reasonable people. We have little confidence in Pope Benedicts ability to remove the blinders of homophobia. The Vatican is willing to dance with devil by opposing a proposed U.N. declaration calling for an end to discrimination against homosexuals, shame on them for compromising our beliefs.

To find out more about the Rainbow Sash Movement, please visit our web site at www.rainbowsashmovement.com.

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Contact Person:
Joe Murray
Executive Director
Rainbow Sash Movement
312-266-0182



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