14 March 2013

Gays and the new pope: Bad news and "good" news

Yesterday, a new pope was chosen - Pope Francis I, formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina.

The bad news: He has a reputation for being ultraconservative. Accordingly, he is strongly opposed to gay rights.

The "good" news: It could be worse. Another candidate whom some considered a frontrunner in the papal race was Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana. And, while an African pope would have been quite the newsmaking novelty, other implications would have been disturbing at best.

For starters, as the Huffington Post reported last month, Turkson is a defender of Uganda's infamous "Kill the Gays" bill.

So, while gays and lesbians will continue to be second-class citizens in the eyes of the Vatican, at least it appears that we've avoided a new homophobic Inquisition. For now.

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