Archive for the ‘Vatican’ Category
Oppose Pope Benedict’s State Visit to the UK
Stop the Vatican’s crusade against women’s and gay rights
London – 10 February 2010
Protest the Pope
This Sunday 14 February 2010
Meet at 1pm outside Westminster Cathedral (not Westminster Abbey).
Victoria Street, London SW1 (near the corner with Ambrosden Avenue)
March to the Italian Embassy in Grosvenor Square for a rally at 3pm.
· Women’s equality and reproductive rights
· Equal rights for LGBT people
· A secular Europe – immune to the Vatican’s agenda
· One law for all, no religious exemptions from the law
· State neutrality in matters of religion and belief
· European Union collusion with religion (Lisbon Treaty Article 16c)
· The special status of the Vatican in the United Nations
· State-funded faith schools
· The economic privilege and political influence of the Vatican in Italy
· Taxpayers funding the Pope’s State Visit to the UK this September
· Misogyny, homophobia, fascism, racism and xenophobia
Protest against the Pope’s State Visit to the UK
“We want a secular Europe, where the Vatican and the Catholic church cease attempting to impose their harsh, intolerant morality on everyone else,” said Peter Tatchell of OutRage!, who is speaking at Sunday’s protest and assisting with its organisation.
“The Pope opposes women’s rights, gay equality, embryonic stem cell research, death with dignity and the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV.
“He wants the Catholic Church to be exempt from equality and anti-discrimination laws that apply to everyone else.
“Pope Benedict played a key role in the cover-up of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy.
“He has rehabilitated the Holocaust-denying bishop Richard Williamson, and even though Pope Pius XII failed to speak out against the Holocaust he plans to make him a saint.
“Given that he opposes universal equality and human rights, Pope Benedict should not be accorded the honour of a State Visit to Britain.
“The estimated £20 million cost of the visit will be funded by the taxpayer. The Pope has already denounced our equality laws. He is likely to abuse his presence in Britain to further attack our democratically-agreed legislation that gives equal rights to women and gay people.
“The Pope has discouraged the use of condoms in countries where HIV infections are decimating whole populations. Such teachings are irresponsible and immoral,” said Mr Tatchell.
Sunday’s demonstration is organised by the Central London Humanist Group in partnership with the British Humanist Association, the National Secular Society, One Law for All, the Gay And Lesbian Humanist Association, the Rationalist Association and OutRage!.
It is in solidarity with the demonstration happening the same weekend in Rome, also against the Vatican and its reactionary interference in Italian, European and world-wide politics.
Program of the demonstration:
– Assemble: 1pm at Westminster Cathedral (not the Abbey)
– March: 2pm – 3pm from Westminster Cathedral to the Italian embassy
– Rally: 3pm – 5pm at the Italian embassy (Grosvenor square)
Speakers at the Italian embassy (3pm) :
* Bob Churchill (British Humanist Association),
* Derek Lennard (Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association)
* Maryam Namazie (One Law for All)
* Gerard Phillips (Protest The Pope)
* David Pollock (European Humanist Federation)
* Terry Sanderson (National Secular Society)
* Peter Tatchell (OutRage!)
* Josh Kutchinsky (Central London Humanist Group)
WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE VATICAN
Protest organiser, Marco Tranchino, writes:
The tiny Vatican State is inhabited mainly by priests. It is extremely powerful and its “moral” crusades adversely affect the lives of millions of people in Europe and across the world.
Officially part of the UN, its “observer-state” status means it can access, influence and pressure UN debates on issues such as birth control, abortion and homosexuality. No other religion has such privileged UN status.
The Vatican has diplomatic relationships with almost all the countries in the world (174 when John Paul II died) and in many EU countries it benefits from the support of Catholic politicians and, in many cases, of Christian political parties.
Of the 27 countries of the European Union, 14 are bound to the Vatican by at least one treaty. No other faith has such political power in Europe and the world; prompting the Economist to publish an investigation about the diplomatic service of the Vatican, questioning whether it deserves its special status in the UN (21 July 2007)
The Catholic Church is an extremely profitable business. It owns businesses such as hotels, restaurants, shops and private schools and the Vatican pays no tax! On top of this, the Vatican receives public money in many countries: in Italy about 1000 million Euros in taxes paid to the Vatican every year (991 millions € in 2007 ).
Through its very considerable political, diplomatic and economic power, the Vatican adversely impacts on the lives of European citizens, and the wider humanity.
THE POPE’S OPPOSITION TO WOMEN’S & LGBT RIGHTS
The issue of women’s rights and the Catholic Church goes way beyond the hierarchy of the church, where women are unable to ascend to priesthood as a result of their gender. Women who have had a divorce, women who want to have an abortion and women who are living as single parents in Catholic countries are often victims of moral intimidation and discrimination. The Pope encourages us to view women as unequal to men, by consistently and publicly stating that the two genders are different and that women are naturally inclined to be mothers and child-carers. In some Catholic countries, like Ireland and Poland, abortion is illegal. In others, like Italy, the right to an abortion is constantly under threat from the Vatican’s pressure on the government.
The Pope says that being gay is an “objective disorder” and a “moral evil”. In nearly half the countries in the world, homosexuality is totally illegal and punishable by long terms of imprisonment. A proposal for the universal decriminalisation of homosexuality was opposed by the Vatican in the UN in 2008. It has a long history of blocking attempted UN debates on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights; often refusing to condemn homophobia and opposing laws to protect LGBT people against discrimination.
RELIGIOUS POWER IN THE UK
Although Britain is a fairly “secular” society, Christianity still has considerable influence in many British institutions and it continues to enjoy unfair privileges.
A limited right to abortion has been granted to women living in England, Scotland and Wales, but in Northern Ireland it remains illegal. This anomaly is significantly due to religious influence, including that of the Catholic Church. Christian lobbies are engaged in continual efforts to restrict a woman’s right to abortion and have succeeded in reducing the time limits for an abortion.
Religion retains undue influence and power in various ways. With increasing numbers of state funded faith schools (1 in 3 of all schools in the UK is either Catholic or Church of England), religious institutions continue to exercise an influence on many young people.
The churches (especially the Catholic church) made sure that the proposed EU Constitution – and the now approved Lisbon Treaty (article 16c) – dangerously commits the European Union to “an open, transparent and regular dialogue with Churches and religious organisations”. Why should religious bodies receive this special treaty guarantee, which is denied to humanists and human rights advocates?
WE DEMAND A SECULAR EUROPE
The state should be neutral in matters of religion or belief.
No faith should have privileged legal or social status, or special access to government
The beliefs of one group should not be used to limit the rights of others.
We affirm the common values of the people of Europe as expressed in the Brussels Declaration.
We want to protect democracy and to champion human rights against those who seek to retain undemocratic influence and deny equality and protection against discrimination to others.
Peter Tatchell, OutRage!
Protest coordinator: Marco Tranchino – firstname.lastname@example.org
Pope attacks British equality laws
Coded attack on the legal rights of women and gay people
London – 2 February 2010
The Pope has criticised UK equality laws, including the Equality Bill that is currently before parliament. This attack comes ahead of the pontiff’s State Visit to Britain, scheduled for September this year.
“Pope Benedict is unhappy with the new rights and protections afforded to women and LGBT people. He objects to the fact that religious institutions can no longer lawfully discriminate at will on the grounds of gender and sexual orientation,” said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of OutRage!
“The Pope’s criticism that British equality legislation ‘violates the natural law’ is a coded attack on the legal rights granted to women and gay people. It is a de facto defence of faith-based discrimination.
“His ill-informed claim that our equality laws undermine religious freedom suggests that he supports the right of faith organisations to discriminate in accordance with their religious ethos. He seems to be defending discrimination by religious institutions and demanding that they should be above the law.
“This outburst signals that Benedict is likely to make highly partisan political criticisms during his visit to the UK in September. Most British people will not welcome a meddlesome pontiff who opposes our equality laws.
“They will especially resent the fact that the UK government is asking taxpayers to cough up around £20 million to finance his visit. This money would be far better spent on schools and hospitals,” said Mr Tatchell.
23 September 2009
GAY HUMANISTS CALL FOR STRONG PROTEST WHEN POPE VISITS UK
The gay Humanist charity the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT) has called for a strong protest to be made when Pope Benedict XVI visits the UK early next year.
The PTT’s secretary George Broadhead said: “This pope has shown himself to be paranoid about homosexuality. His opposition to LGBT rights knows no bounds. In his Christmas message last year he declared that saving humanity from homosexual behaviour was as important as saving the rainforest from destruction. This must be the most outrageous and bizarre claim yet made by someone who has already got a well-deserved reputation as one of the most viciously homophobic world leaders on a par with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. The Vatican reinforced its anti-gay reputation by strongly opposing a UN declaration calling for an end to discrimination against gays and the Pope’s Christmas messsage provided clear evidence of an obsession about homosexuality which is tantamount to paranoia.
“It is imperative that the strongest possible protest be made when he visits the UK next year”, continued Mr Broadhead. “This is not without precedent. During the last papal visit to the UK by John Paul I in 1982, a protest
called POPE (People Opposing Papal Edicts) was instigated by the Gay Humanist Group of which I was a founder member. It had the support of other gay and secular organisations including the Campaign for Homosexuality and the National Secular Society. On the occasion of the next papal vist we must pull out all the stops to demonstrate our opposition.”
The Pink Triangle Trust, 34 Spring Lane, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 2HB
44 (0)1926 858450
Gay & Lesbian Humanist magazine:
Note for Editors
The Pink Triangle Trust is the only gay humanist charity and the only organisation worldwide publishing an online magazine (Gay & Lesbian Humanist) for lesbian and gay atheists, freethinkers and Humanists. The trust is named after the pink triangle that lesbians and gay men had to wear in the Nazi concentration camps. This registered charity (number 1015629) was set up in 1992 to advance the education of the public and particularly of lesbians and gay men, in the principles and practice of Humanism and to advance the education of the public, and particularly of Humanists, about all aspects of homosexuality.
See Also No Vat : http://www.facciamobreccia.org/
Protests this weekend will call for an end to the Vatican’s privileges and its undermining of human rights
guardian.co.uk, Friday 13 February 2009 19.30 GMT
The Vatican should stop meddling in politics and misusing its power to oppose human rights. Just as importantly, it is time the Italian government ceased kow-towing to the pope’s theocratic agenda. All of Europe should be secular, where people are free to practise their faith but where no religion has privileged legal status and unique access to political power and influence.
These are the demands of protesters, backed by the British Humanist Association, who will assemble in London this Saturday afternoon in support of a simultaneous protest taking place in Rome against the Vatican’s manipulation of Italian, European and worldwide politics.
In celebration of Charles Darwin’s debunking of the Biblical idea that the world was made by God in six days, the protesters will meet at the Natural History Museum. It is hosting the biggest-ever Charles Darwin exhibition to commemorate the 200th anniversary of his birth and the 150th anniversary of his book, On the Origin of Species. His theory of evolution was long rejected and denounced by successive popes.
Undeterred by church hostility, Darwin made his view of religion very clear: “Man in his arrogance thinks himself a great work, worthy the interposition of a deity … it is more humble and I believe truer to consider him created from animals.”
From the Natural History Museum, the marchers will go to the Italian Embassy to demand that the Italian government curb its favouritism and appeasement of the Vatican. The Italian parliament too often allows itself to be bullied by the Vatican, resulting in it dumping legislation for same-sex civil unions and sex education in schools.
The Catholic church in Italy is a huge corporate business empire. It owns hotels, restaurants, shops and private schools but it does not pay tax. On the contrary, it is subsidised by the Italian taxpayer, with about four billion euros in public money being given to the Vatican every year.
Saturday’s protest organisers, Marco Tranchino and Serena Bassi, describe the Vatican as a “tiny statelet inhabited almost entirely by priests, with a disproportionate and malign influence on Italian and global politics”.
Officially part of the United Nations, the Vatican’s observer state status means it intervenes in UN debates on a variety of issues, including old-time favourites, such as birth control, abortion and homosexuality. No other faith has this privileged status, access and influence at the UN.
The Vatican maintains diplomatic relationships with nearly every nation in the world. In most EU countries it benefits from the support of Catholic politicians and in many cases its policies are advocated by political parties like the Christian Democrats and their successors and allies. The Vatican does not shrink from using threats and intimidation to enforce its will. To keep Catholic MPs in line with papal policy opposing gay equality, for example, the Vatican has threatened to excommunicate any Catholic legislator who votes for same-sex civil unions.
Of the 27 countries in the European Union, 14 are bound to the Vatican by at least one treaty. No other religion has such state-level power and connections, either in Europe or the wider world.
The pope has made sure that the proposed EU Constitution – and now the Lisbon Treaty (article 16c) – commits the European Union to “an open, transparent and regular dialogue with churches and religious organisations”. No other non-governmental organisation is afforded such dialogue – not trade unions, not human rights groups and not bodies representing the rights and welfare of women, black or disabled people.
Within Britain, the Catholic church has lobbied hard to restrict women’s reproductive rights, in particular access to contraception, abortion and fertility treatment. It has led the opposition to medical advance by means of embryo and stem cell research. With increasing numbers of state-funded faith schools (1 in 3 of all schools in the UK are either Catholic or Church of England), the Vatican continues to exercise a strong and biased influence on hundreds of thousands of young people.
The pope encourages us to view women as inferior to men by barring them from the priesthood and by consistently stating that the two genders are naturally different and that women are biologically inclined for a more mothering and domestic role in life. In many Catholic countries, women who have had a divorce or abortion, and women who are living as single parents, suffer religious-inspired stigma and discrimination. In some Catholic countries, like Ireland and Poland, abortion is illegal. In others, like Italy, abortion rights are under constant threat from the Vatican’s pressure on the government.
To the delight of homophobes everywhere, the pope propagandises that being gay is an “objective disorder”, “grave depravity” and a “tendency towards an intrinsic moral evil”. In 1992, the Vatican officially rejected the concept of lesbian and gay “human rights”, asserting that there is “no right” to homosexuality. It added that the civil liberties of homosexuals can be “legitimately limited”. While condemning “unjust” discrimination, the Catholic leadership declared that some forms of anti-gay discrimination are “not unjust” and may even be “obligatory”.
In around 80 countries male homosexuality is still illegal, with penalties ranging up to life imprisonment and even death by execution. Last December, a proposal to decriminalise homosexuality and protect gay people against discrimination was opposed by the Vatican in the UN and by fellow religious bigots in the Organisation of Islamic States.
In contrast, if Catholics suffer discrimination I will be the first to defend them. Equally, when the pope supports discrimination against women and gay people I will be the first to oppose him. That is the difference between me and the pope. I reject all discrimination, including against Catholics. He supports sexist and homophobic discrimination whenever it suits his intolerant interpretation of the Christian faith. That is why the Vatican must be opposed and why I will be joining Saturday’s march in London.
No to Vatican. Protest Saturday 14 February 2009. Assemble at 2pm outside the Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD (near the corner with Exhibition Road).
London Protest for a Secular Europe
No Vatican interference in politics
Stop the Pope’s crusade against women’s and gay rights
Saturday 14 February 2009
Meet @ 2 PM outside the Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD (near the corner with Exhibition Road)
March to the Italian Embassy in Grosvenor Square for a rally.
Saturday’s protest in London is in support of a simultaneous protest taking place in Rome, which is demanding that the Vatican end its interference in Italian politics.
“This demonstration is demanding that the Vatican stop meddling in politics and abusing its power to oppose human rights. We also want the Italian government to cease kow-towing to the Pope’s theocratic agenda,” said Peter Tatchell of the LGBT human rights organisation OutRage!, who is scheduled as a keynote speaker at the rally outside the Italian Embassy.
“Our aim is a secular Europe, where people are free to practice their faith but where no religion has privileged legal status and unique access to political power and influence.
“We are appalled by the Pope’s repeated attacks on the rights of women and gay people and by his wilful opposition to life-saving condom provision. The Italian government too often allows itself to be bullied by the Vatican, on issues such as same-sex civil marriage and sex education in schools.
“If Catholics suffer discrimination I will be the first to defend them. Equally, when the Pope supports discrimination against women and gay people I will be the first to oppose him. That is the difference between me and the Pope. I oppose all discrimination, including against Catholics. He supports sexist and homophobic discrimination whenever it suits his intolerant interpretation of the Christian faith,” said Mr Tatchell
Saturday’s protest is endorsed by the British Humanist Association, OutRage!, the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association and many others.
This demo will be in solidarity with the demonstration happening at the same time in Rome against the Vatican’s manipulation of Italian, European and world-wide politics.
Organiser’s contact info:
Marco Tranchino – 07806647903
Serena Bassi – 07796891091
WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE VATICAN
By Marco Tranchino and Serena Bassi
This tiny State inhabited mainly by priests is extremely powerful and its “moral” crusades adversely affect the lives of millions of people in Europe and in the world.
Officially part of the UN, its “observer-state” status means it engages in UN debates on a variety of issues ranging from favourites, such as birth control, abortion and homosexuality, to the environment, war and global trade.
The Vatican has diplomatic relationships with almost all the Countries in the world (174 when John Paul II died) and in many EU countries they benefit from the support of Catholic politicians or in many cases of Christian political parties. Of the 27 countries of the European Union, 14 are bound to the Vatican by at least one treaty. No other religion has such a power in Europe and in the World, thus prompting the Economist to publish an investigation about the diplomatic service of the Vatican, questioning whether it deserves its special status in the UN (21/07/2007)
The Catholic Church is an extremely profitable business. They own businesses such as hotels, restaurants, shops and private schools and they DON’T pay any tax! On top of this, the Vatican receives public money in many countries: in Italy about 1000 million Euros from taxes is destined to the Vatican every year (930 millions € in 2006).
The Vatican wields considerable political and economic power. It uses its influence and privilege to impose an agenda on a variety of issues that affect our lives as European citizens, and limit our civil rights and our civil liberties.
THE POPE’S VIEWS ON WOMEN AND LGBT PEOPLE
The issue of women’s rights and the Catholic Church goes way beyond the hierarchy of the church, where women are unable to ascend to priesthood as a result of their gender. Women who have had a divorce, women who want to have an abortion and women who are living as single parents in catholic countries are often victims of intimidation and discrimination. The Pope encourages us to view women as unequal to men, by consistently and publicly stating that the two genders are naturally different and that women are naturally inclined for domestic living. In some catholic countries, like Ireland and Poland, abortion is illegal. In others, like Italy, the right to an abortion is constantly under threat from the Vatican’s pressure on the Government.
The Pope thinks being gay is an “objective disorder” and a “moral evil”. In many countries in the world you can still get the death penalty for being gay. Recently, a proposal to de-criminalise homosexuality was opposed by the Vatican in the UN because it would mean that States where same-sex unions are not recognized would be discriminated against and unfairly subjected to international pressure.
WHY SHOULD IT MATTER TO PEOPLE IN THE UK
This is certainly a global issue, but it also directly affects people living in the UK. This country is regarded by many as fairly “secular” but in reality Christianity remains strongly embedded in many British institutions and continues to enjoy unfair religious privilege.
Although a limited right to abortion has been granted to women living in England, Scotland and Wales since 1967, in Northern Ireland it remains illegal. This anomaly is significantly due to religious influence. Christian lobbies are engaged in continual efforts to restrict a woman’s right to abortion and have succeeded in reducing the time limit for an abortion in Great Britain from 28 to 24 weeks.
Religion retains undue influence and power in various ways. With increasing numbers of state funded faith schools (1 in 3 of all schools in the UK is either Catholic or Church of England), they continue to exercise a strong influence on young people.
With public opinion distracted over the proposal to refer to the Christian roots of Europe they made sure that the proposed EU Constitution – and now the Lisbon Treaty (article 16C) – dangerously commits the European Union to “an open, transparent and regular dialogue with Churches and religious organisations”.
We need to protect democracy and to champion human rights against those who wish to retain undemocratic influence and privilege.
The Vatican has done this for years in the European Union, the United Nations and even in the UK parliament without anyone paying attention. Why?
“Man in his arrogance thinks himself a great work, worthy the interposition of a deity…it is more humble and I believe truer to consider him created from animals” (Charles Darwin)
We will meet at 2pm outside the Natural History Museum, where the biggest ever Charles Darwin exhibition commemorates his bicentenary.
We will then walk through Hyde Park, to the ITALIAN EMBASSY in Grosvenor Square.
Organisations can express their support at email@example.com
Protest organiser’s contact info:
Marco Tranchino – 07806647903
Serena Bassi – 07796891091
The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs has summoned the Papal Nuncio to the Netherlands to the ministry and expressed objections to the approach the Holy See took at the UN over a statement on the human rights of gays.
Maxime Verhagen, who is a Christian Democrat, told Monsignor François Bacqué that the Pope’s recent claim that homosexuality is as great a threat to humanity as the destruction of the rainforest was not constructive.
The minister also said he was surprised at the negative approach the Holy See took at the UN initiative, which the Netherlands backed.
66 nations supported the statement on LGBT rights at a session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month.
It was read out by Argentina’s Ambassador the UN.
It does not create new rights and is not legally binding but instead builds on similar past initiatives.
It affirms the principle of universality: that all human beings, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity, are entitled to equal dignity and respect.
The Roman Catholic Church’s representative at the United Nations, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, said the Vatican opposed the use of the phrases “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” in the statement as they have no definition in international law and are cultural concepts.
“The Holy See appreciates the attempts made to condemn all forms of violence against homosexual persons as well as urge states to take necessary measures to put an end to all criminal penalties against them,” he said.
The Chuch claims that the statement: “goes beyond this goal and instead gives rise to uncertainty in the law and challenges existing human rights norms.”
Despite the fact the statement is not legally binding, the Vatican claims it “would create serious uncertainty in the law as well as undermine the ability of states to enter into and enforce new and existing human-rights conventions and standards.”
I was asked by the Dutch Foundation of Friends of the Gay Krant (SVGK) to distribute their appeal for an international campaign against the Pope. See their statement below – Peter Tatchell
Gay’s furious at Pope
BEST, NL – JANUARY 4th – The Foundation of Friends of the Gay Krant (SVGK) starts a global action against the gay discriminatory statements of Pope Benedict XVI. 90% of the readers of the Gay Krant wants the Dutch government to protest officially and call for the nuncius in The Hague.
Never before in such a short time there were so many angry phone calls, emails and letters on the desks of the editorial staff of Gay Krant. “On this first working day of the year we really were overwhelmed with responses, reports editor Henk Krol, worldwide initiator of opening up civil marriage.
Henk Krol: “The results of a survey under readers the last few days have been unlikely clear. 90% believe that the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen should protest against the pope.
Together with France, the Netherlands launched a declaration at the United Nations against criminalization of homosexuality. The statement was signed by 66 countries.
In recent weeks the Vatican pushed a anti-gay ruling at the UN. The reason is obvious: the opening of the civil marriage as advocated by the SVGK. The Dutch initiative gets worldwide more and more following. Even on the website of the Roman Catholic church can be read: “The Pope fears that marriage between persons of the same sex can become a human right. That would mean that the church does not oppose the impunity of an open civil marriage. We have the freedom not to sin”, reports the website.
Especially the statement of the Netherlands and France to ban homosexuality as an criminal act, is way to far for the Vatican. That would not acknowledge any sexual orientation “and that would be ‘legal uncertainty’ cause, said the Pope’s UN envoy, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, last weekend against Radio Vaticana.
The church will never recognize ‘gay marriage’ warns Martino in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. Because the natural marriage between man and woman “is very different from the union of two persons of the same gender.
“From God we have received the precious gift of freedom. The freedom to choose whether or not to sin “, the President of the Papal Council Justitia et Pax said.
The UN declaration last month was called for by Minister Maxime Verhagen. He and his French colleague were supported by 66 of the 192 UN member states. 58 countries voted for a counter-declaration which was submitted by Egypt and Syria. They want the freedom to see homosexuality as a criminal act. The French-Dutch proposal was ready for vote in the General Assembly of the UN.
The Vatican is pleased that there is no majority for the statement.
The Holy See has said in many Member States have given support for its position.
A group of MEPs in the Euro parliament was already asked the pope to express in a more modest way.
The Dutch human rights activists Boris Dittrich of SVGK, who also works for Human Rights Watch in New York, and Henk Krol, the motor behind same sex marriage, are starting a worldwide campaign to increase the political role of the Vatican. They have seen with their own eyes how the Vatican lobbied for a UN declaration against gay rights. The text was dictated to Egypt by representatives of the pope. “Recognition of rights of homosexuals would inevitably lead to the legalization of pedophilia, incest and bestiality.”
The Foundation Friends of the Gay Krant, as initiators of opening up civil marriage, has contacted several gay organizations around the world.
Together they will discuss their further steps. They asl for a stop of the right of speech for the Vatican during the sessions of the UN. The Roman Catholic church is now the only religion with the right to speak in de UN-meeting. Neither the other Christian movements, nor Judaism, Islam or Buddhism, for example, have a right to speak. Only the pope has his direct influence in this forum in world politics.
Both Krol as Dittrich believe that statements such as: “Homosexuality is a serious threat to the survival of the human race, just as climate change” are not compatible.
According to SVGK now is the time that the world wakes up and diminish the role of the Vatican at the United Nations forum. “Stop the right to speak for representatives of the pope. Instead, an international inquiry into the complicity of the Vatican to discrimination against gay, women with complicated pregnancies and AIDS patients should be in place.”
All the best,
The Vatican refusal to sign the declaration before the UN that seeks to decriminalize homosexuality worldwide is true to form. In a recent ‘clarification’ the Vatican claims that while it has declined to sign-on, it condemns ‘unjust’ discrimination against homosexuals – without saying what exactly might constitute just discrimination.
By exempting itself from the list of states calling for decriminalization, the Vatican is in effect handing moral authority to those nations that are determined to keep homosexuals on the periphery of society, under fear of being persecuted for the ‘crime’ of gay orientation.
The two-faced position adopted by the Vatican is nothing new.
In a recent Guardian article, Peter Tatchell covers part of the Vatican’s abysmal track record on gay rights.
Unsurprisingly, the Vatican and the Organisation of Islamic States are leading the fight against the UN declaration. The opposition of the Pope is truly sickening, depraved and shameless.Of course, the Vatican has form. In 2004, it teamed up with Islamist dictatorships in the UN Commission on Human Rights to thwart a resolution sponsored by Brazil that opposed homophobic violence and discrimination. The Holy See is so viciously homophobic that it opposed the UN condemnation of the murder of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Recently a sit-in was staged near St Peter’s Square to protest the Vatican’s position on the declaration. Protesters sat under the banners of Arcigay and Arcilesbica – the two main gay and lesbian advocacy groups in Italy.
The main thrust of the Vatican position hinges on UN envoy Migliore’s convoluted contention that signing the document might “pillory” countries where homosexuality is illegal and force them to create “new categories (gay people) protected from discrimination.” And this is a bad thing?
Of course the main concern is that ‘normalizing’ homosexuality might lead to same-sex unions. But this makes little sense. The social sanctions and taboos against same-sex marriage in countries where homosexuality is outlawed makes the Vatican’s stated concerns about same-sex marriage little more than a red herring. It is an excuse to avoid stepping up to the plate on this issue… a posture consistent with the Vatican’s homophobic agenda.
When Italian TV aired Brokeback Mountain recently, gay love scenes had been excised. The missing scenes featured a kiss between actors Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal along with a love scene in a tent.
This wasn’t because the censor had a problem with sexual content per se … a heterosexual love scene stayed in place.
State TV network Rai Due isn’t exactly progressive. It has a fondness for airing biopics of popes. It has as-good-as banned the comedian Sabina Guzzanti – best known for her satirical attacks on the pope and Berlusconi.
It is interesting that the removal of gay content from Brokeback Mountain comes on the same week the Vatican launched an attack on an EU proposal to have the UN move to condemn discrimination against gay people. The Vatican thinks that defending the human rights of homosexuals might open the door for gay marriage … duh.
When a row erupted over the censored content, Rai Due offered some far-fetched excuse related to technical and administrative matters in an effort to claim that it was all an honest mistake. Not many buy this, certainly not opposition senator Luigi Vimercati who described Rai Due’s excuse as “embarrassing” and is calling for a parliamentary enquiry.
The Italian gay rights organization Arcigay believes the suppressing of gay content in the movie is a reflection of the times. There has been a rise in violence against gay people in Italy. Arcigay spokesperson, Matteo Ricci said: “The resistance by politicians of all stripes, backed by the Vatican, to same-sex unions has created the basis for the climate of hostility.”
Dépénalisation de l’homosexualité: Rama Yade à l’Onu le 18 décembre
La secrétaire d’État aux droits de l’homme française, Rama Yade, se rendra au siège de l’ONU la semaine prochaine pour «promouvoir» un projet de déclaration sur la dépénalisation de l’homosexualité, annoncé dans Têtu n° 135, juillet-août 2008, et vivement combattu par le Vatican.
«Afin de promouvoir cette déclaration, Rama Yade se rendra à New York le 18 décembre et coprésidera avec Maxime Verhagen, ministre des Affaires étrangères des Pays-Bas, un événement en marge de l’assemblée générale, auquel s’associeront de nombreux autres pays», a déclaré jeudi le porte-parole adjoint du ministère des Affaires étrangères, Frédéric Desagneaux.
M. Desagneaux a rappelé l’engagement de Rama Yade en faveur d’un texte «appelant à la dépénalisation universelle de l’homosexualité qui serait portée aux Nations Unies lors de la présidence française du Conseil de l’Union européenne», qui s’achève à la fin de l’année.
Cette initiative, qui a déjà reçu le soutien d’une soixantaine de pays, «consiste en une déclaration qui sera prononcée dans le cadre de l’assemblée générale des Nations Unies», a-t-il ajouté. Le porte-parole a rappelé que l’homosexualité est passible de la peine de mort «dans au moins six pays dans le monde».
Le Saint-Siège a manifesté à plusieurs reprises son hostilité à ce projet, dont le texte n’a pas encore été rendu public, assurant qu’il se heurtait aux réserves ou à l’hostilité de nombreux pays. Pour le Vatican, cette déclaration répond à l’objectif légitime de bannir la répression de l’homosexualité. Mais en condamnant les «discriminations» et les «préjugés» concernant les homosexuels, il risque à ses yeux de favoriser le mariage gay, l’adoption par des couples du même sexe ou encore la procréation assistée pour les homosexuels.