Vatican official says opponents of gay marriage face persecution, too

Following up on yesterday’s post about Catholic opinion on homosexuality: A Vatican representative to the UN Human Rights council has said that people who oppose gay marriage sometimes have their rights violated because of those beliefs:

“People are being attacked for taking positions that do not support sexual behavior between people of the same sex,” said Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, the Vatican’s representative to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

“When they express their moral beliefs or beliefs about human nature, which may also be expressions of religious convictions, or state opinions about scientific claims, they are stigmatized, and worse — they are vilified, and prosecuted,” Tomasi said.

“The truth is, these attacks are violations of fundamental human rights, and cannot be justified under any circumstances.”

In his statement, Tomasi said the Vatican “condemn(ed) all violence that is targeted against people because of their sexual feelings and thoughts, or sexual behaviors.” The Vatican also rejects all legal discrimination “based just on the person’s feelings and thoughts, including sexual thoughts and feelings.”

I’m sure plenty of gay-marriage advocates would find it rich to suggest that traditional marriage proponents are the ones in danger here — but Archbishop Tomasi is right that the knife cuts both ways. Take the case of Maureen Mullarkey, for example, which I blogged about in 2009, who was harassed at her home because she had donated to California’s Prop 8 campaign. Or the adoption services that have had to close their doors rather than be forced to compromise their beliefs by adopting to gay couples. There’s more at issue here than simply the question of marriage.

Margaret Cabaniss


Margaret Cabaniss is the former managing editor of Crisis Magazine. She joined Crisis in 2002 after graduating from the University of the South with a degree in English Literature and currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She now blogs at

  • Todd M. Aglialoro


  • Jesurgislac

    Or the adoption services that have had to close their doors rather than be forced to compromise their beliefs by adopting to gay couples.

    Adoption agencies who believed that promoting homophobia was more important than finding caring parents for children who need them, may have rightly been forced to close their doors (though there is also the famous instance in Boston where an adoption agency that had placed several children with same-sex couples was forced to close down by the local bishops, much against the agency’s beliefs that caring for children was paramount) but with adoption, caring for children should clearly triumph over bigotry: I don’t see what the problem is here.

    With regard to the fantastic claims by the Vatican that people who oppose equal civil rights for GLBT people have been “persecuted” – they’ve yet to show any examples. Nor have you: having reporters show up in your driveway to ask why you voted against marriage for your neighbors does not constitute “persecution”.
    People who thought their neighbors shouldn’t be allowed the same civil rights as themselves but who weren’t prepared to meet the people they’d stigmatized face to face, really didn’t have the courage of their convictions – but then few opponents of lifting the ban on same-sex marriage do.

    Seven nations in the world still put people to death for being gay. The Vatican has never once spoken out against that. It’s difficult to see how they can claim “persecution” when no one, anywhere, is being put to death for opposing same-sex marriage, and the Vatican sees no moral difficulty supporting countries that kill people for homosexuality.

    • John Doman

      How does the Vatican “support” countries that murder people for being homosexual? The Catholic church is opposed to murder, you know.

    • Valentin

      Why should two people who engage in sodomy, and can’t have kids without someone else raise children? Seriously what avenue of thought led you too think that is right?

    • Valentin

      Children should be raised by a Mother and Father because Motherly Love and Fatherly Love are both important in raising children.

    • Valentin

      What is a “gay couple” except 2 guys jacking each other off? Why would you compare that with a marriage?

  • Dale Price

    Prop 8 supporters maps, firings, boycotting supporters with the intent to economically ruin, interrupting K of C fundraisers for mentally impaired children–nah, gay folks are really taking the high road.

    Nice trying to explain the jackboot as “justifiable outrage.”

    “Lack of courage of their convictions.” Yeah, she was asking for it, sayeth the typical abuser.

    Spare me. Ever wonder how many of us have been pushed the other way by these thug tactics?