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.

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“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 SlowMama.com.

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