Pope Benedict's anti-gay marriage
comments have sparked a White House petition asking for the Roman
Catholic Church to be recognized as a hate group.
“We the People” petition was submitted on Christmas Day and
has received nearly 2,000 digital signatures.
“In his annual Christmas address to
the College of Cardinals, Pope Benedict XVI, the global leader of the
Roman Catholic Church, demeaned and belittled homosexual people
around the world,” the petition reads. “Using hateful language
and discriminatory remarks, the Pope painted a portrait in which gay
people are second-class global citizens. Pope Benedict said that gay
people starting families are threatening to society, and that gay
parents objectify and take away the dignity of children. The Pope
also implied that gay families are sub-human, as they are not
dignified in the eyes of God.”
In his annual Christmas address given
at the Vatican, Benedict denounced gay unions as a manipulation of
sexual identity and dedicated the coming year to promoting family
“People dispute the idea that they
have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity, that serves as
a defining element of the human being,” the Holy Father said in one
of his most important speeches of the year. “They deny their
nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them,
but that they make it for themselves.”
“The manipulation of nature, which we
deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man's
fundamental choice where he himself is concerned.”
Benedict and the Vatican have increased
their opposition as predominantly Catholic France debates the issue
of marriage equality.
Benedict's anti-gay marriage comments protested.)
“Upon these remarks, the Roman
Catholic Church fits the definition of a hate group as defined by
both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League,”
the petition states.
To receive a response from the White
House, a “We the People” petition must reach 25,000 signatures
within 30 days of its publication.