Opponents of allowing gay couples to
marry on Monday praised Pope Francis' remarks on the family, but the
nation's leading LGBT rights advocate says it's encouraged by the
Catholic leader's words.
More than 350 people from around the
world gather at the Vatican to attend the 3-day conference, titled
“It is fitting that you have gathered
here in this international colloquium to explore the complementarity
of man and woman,” the
Pontiff said. “This complementarity is a root of marriage and
“When we speak of complementarity
between man and woman in this context, let us not confuse that term
with the simplistic idea that all the roles and relations of the two
sexes are fixed in a single, static pattern. Complementarity will
take many forms as each man and woman brings his or her distinctive
contributions to their marriage and to the formation of their
children – his or her personal richness, personal charisma.
Complementarity becomes a great wealth. It is not just a good thing
but it is also beautiful.”
“Family is an anthropological fact –
a socially and culturally related fact. We cannot qualify it based
on ideological notions or concepts important only at one time in
history. We can't think of conservative or progressive notions.
Family is a family. It can't be qualified by ideological notions,”
Tony Perkins, president of the
Christian conservative Family Research Council (FRC), said he was
encouraged by the pope's words.
“Conservatives concerned about where
@Pontifex is headed on #marriage will be encouraged by his address
today,” Perkins tweeted.
Brian Brown, president of the National
Organization for Marriage (NOM), messaged: “'#Marriage is more than
Good; it is about beauty.' The beauty of complementarity of male and
“Hold on,” HRC said in a blog
post. “Nowhere in the remarks does [Pope Francis] demean or
even dismiss committed and loving gay and lesbian couples in any way.
He honors straight couples and the children that result from
opposite-sex marriages without denigrating LGBT people. In fact, he
encourages his audience – which included many anti-LGBT advocates
and priests from around the world – to take a more modern view of