One day before the big EuroPride parade in Rome, the European Forum for Christian Homosexuals have presented a letter to Pope Benedict asking him to put an end to homophobia. The AFP news agency reports:
"We ask Your Holiness to condemn violence against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals and to ensure that criminal punishment for sexual relations between people of the same sex are lifted around the world," the letter said. EuroPride is set to bring hundreds of thousands of people into the streets of Rome on Saturday, with its message of defiance to the Italian government and the Vatican amplified by the presence of world-famous singer Lady Gaga. The Vatican's silence on the issue "could be interpreted as approval of the violence," the European Forum for Christian Homosexuals added in the letter. The forum gave as an example the slaying in January of David Kato, a gay activist in mainly Christian Uganda where homosexuality is punished. "In numerous regions of the world, the authors of violence are often persuaded that they act according to the will of the Church," it said.
Further excerpts from the letter:
"We appeal to Your Holiness to reconsider the Church’s position on same-sex and transgender relationships and support these relationships being accepted and blessed in the Church.We appeal to Your Holiness to cease to urge Catholics’ to vote against the law authorising same-sex relationships. Same-sex and transgender relationships are not dangerous for traditional family existence but in fact support and enhance marriage and family values. LGBT people constitute a small percentage of each population, and their number remains constant."
You can read the letter in its entirety here.