Pope Francis has spoken out against
laws that criminalize homosexuality.
In an interview with the AP, Francis
called such laws “unjust.”
“Being homosexual isn't a crime,”
“We are all children of God, and God
loves us as we are and for the strength that each of us fights for
our dignity,” Francis said.
Francis also criticized bishops who
support such laws, saying that these bishops should “have to have a
process of conversion” and should apply “tenderness, please, as
God has for each of us.”
Consensual same-sex sexual activity is
a crime in 67 countries or jurisdictions, according to The Human
Dignity Trust, a group opposed to such laws.
Francis is speaking out ahead of a trip
to Africa, where anti-LGBTQ rhetoric is high and laws criminalizing
gay sex are common.
In his remarks, Francis reiterated the
Church's position on gay sex being a sin but added that gay people
must be treated with dignity and respect.
“It's not a crime. Yes, but it's a
said. “Fine, but first let's distinguish between a sin and a
“It's also a sin to lack charity with
one another,” he added.