Page 1, 16th April 1993

16th April 1993
Page 1
Page 1, 16th April 1993 — Hume urged to back gay rights

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Hume urged to back gay rights

by Murray White

CARDINAL Basil Hume is being urged to make public a document in which he says that, although homosexual genital acts are wrong, being homosexual is not a sin.

The gay rights organisation, Outrage, last week called on the Cardinal to publish his private response to Vatican policy on homosexuality. He had sent the draft document to the group after it met with representatives of the bishops' conference last year.

In a letter last week, the Cardinal said: "The Church, in upholding the dignity of homosexual people, makes clear that being homosexual is neither morally good nor morally bad, but that homosexual genital acts are objectively wrong."

Outrage, which has led vociferous protests against the Vatican's recent hard line towards homosexuality, stepped up its campaign by attempting to disrupt the Palm Sunday service at Westminster Cathedral. It demanded that the Church make a more public statement in favour of gay rights.

Last year, a letter written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, angered the gay community by saying that the state could discriminate against homosexuals in the areas of adoption and fostering, and the recruitment of teachers and soldiers.

But a spokesman for the Catholic lesbian and gay group, Quest, said that whilst they were concerned about the tone of the Vatican, they were engaged in positive dialogue with the Cardinal and other bishops.

"We have considerable hope of eventually gaining support from the bishops for further changes in the law. on the basis that any reforms do not condone homosexual acts or pose any threat to the family," he said.

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