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Pope's speech draws criticism from gays

Pope's speech draws criticism from gays
Pope Benedict XVI | License Photo

VATICAN CITY, Italy, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Gay and lesbian activists say a speech by Pope Benedict XVI comparing homosexuality to global warming was irresponsible and encouraged homophobia.

Pope Benedict, addressing the Curia, the Vatican's central administration, Monday in an end-of-year address, said humanity needs to listen to the "language of creation" to understand God's intent in the roles of man and woman, adding that homosexual relations are a "destruction of God's work," The Times of London reported.

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"The tropical forests do deserve our protection. But man, as a creature, does not deserve any less," Benedict said.

"It is more the case that we need to be saved from (Benedict's) comments," Rev. Sharon Ferguson, chief executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, told The Times, describing the Pontiff's comments as "totally irresponsible and unacceptable in any shape or form. It is comments like that that justify homophobic bullying that goes on in schools and it is comments like that that justify gay-bashing."

Benedict's speech has been interpreted as a denunciation of "gender theory" -- the study of how sexual gender affects behavior. The church dismisses gender theory, which gay and lesbian groups hail as a key to understanding and tolerance, The Times said.

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