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National Religious Leaders Reject Pope's Defamation of Same-Sex Couples

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    National Religious Leaders Reject Pope s Defamation of Same-Sex Couples Press Release, Thursday, February 24, 2005 Washington D.C. The National Religious
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 27, 2005
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      National Religious Leaders Reject Pope's Defamation of Same-Sex
      Couples
      Press Release, Thursday, February 24, 2005

      Washington D.C. The National Religious Leadership Roundtable today
      rejected Pope John Paul II's statement in his recently-published book
      calling equal civil marriage rights for same-sex couples "part of a
      new ideology of evil."

      "We share with the rest of the world concerns for the Pope's health
      in light of his recent illness, and pray for his strength and
      wholeness. But we cannot be silent when he questions the human
      dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people," said Bob
      Gibeling* on behalf of the National Religious Leadership Roundtable.

      "As the Pope's fellow clergy and religious leaders, we strongly
      disagree with the Pope's statement that protecting the rights of gay
      people, 'attempts to pit human rights against the family and against
      man,'" Gibeling continued, "We call on him to remember that the
      essence of the Christian faith and all religious tradition is the
      continued empowerment of the poor, the outcast and the marginalized.
      We believe that greater recognition of the inherent value of gay and
      lesbian families through equal rights can only lead to strengthening
      of the family and humankind."

      Gibeling added, "As people of faith, we call on the Pope to pray and
      consider the devastating results of his statements to millions of
      lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Christians. We challenge all
      religious leaders to contemplate the reality that history and the
      Creator have brought the world to a place of understanding that
      lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are a necessary
      component of the human family."

      National Religious Leadership Roundtable member Sam Sinnett,
      President of Dignity USA further commented, "One cannot properly
      teach morality on homosexuality if one excludes the vast body of
      medical and social science knowledge that shows it is a normal part
      of the great diversity of God's creation and if one excludes the
      lived experience of same-sex couples experiencing love and intimacy
      in the families they form," Sinnett called on the Pope and other
      Roman Catholic leaders to, "properly form their consciences and
      abandon their misguided attempts to equate homosexuality and same-
      gender marriage with evil."

      "If same-sex marriage qualifies as part of 'a new ideology of evil,'
      then the world is in far better shape than I thought," said Catholic
      theologian and National Religious Leadership Roundtable member Mary
      Hunt, Co-director of Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual
      (WATER). "Marriage, whether in a same-sex or opposite-sex context, is
      a celebration of love and commitment, fidelity and family, and all
      desirable aspects of common life. Poverty, greed, war, and ecological
      destruction would better fit the Pope's category of 'evil' and be
      more worthy of his scrutiny. In a world full of such evil, the power
      of same-sex love is a refreshing antidote."

      * Bob Gibeling is a member of the steering committee of the National
      Gay and Lesbian Task Force Religious Leadership Roundtable and a
      member of Lutherans Concerned.


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      First convened in 1998, the National Religious Leadership Roundtable
      of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is an interfaith
      collaboration of more than forty denominations and faith-related
      organizations. The Roundtable seeks to reframe the public religious
      dialogue on issues involving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
      transgender (LGBT) community by amplifying the voices of LGBT-
      affirming people of faith, countering religious voices of bigotry and
      intolerance, and working to advance full equality for all.



      CONTACT
      Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
      646-358-1465 media@...
      Richard Lindsay, Religious Roundtable Liaison
      646-358-1474 rlindsay@...
      http://www.TheTaskForce.org
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