Pope Francis called laws that criminalize same-sex relationships “unjust,” stating that “being homosexual is not a crime.” In an interview with the Associated Press today, the Pope also called for the Roman Catholic Church to play an active role in opposing and repealing those laws. He emphasized that some bishops who advocate for laws that criminalize LGBTQ people and discriminate against the LGBTQ community must undergo “a process of conversion,” and welcome LGBTQ people into the church.
Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO, said Pope Francis’ declaration is an explicit call to keep the momentum for LGBTQ decriminalization and equality. “Pope Francis denounced laws in nearly 70 countries that criminalize LGBTQ people and called on the Roman Catholic Church to take an active role in repealing those laws. His historic statement should send a message to world leaders and millions of Catholics around the world: LGBTQ people deserve to live in a world without violence and condemnation, and with more kindness and understanding.”