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February 15 2013

surveyork
23:08

Peter Turkson of Ghana. He was appointed by Benedict in 2009 to serve as president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and (surprise!) he's incredibly anti-gay.

How anti-gay, you ask? Believe it or not, Turkson is so anti-gay that he actually defended draconian laws that criminalize homosexuality and gay sex, including Uganda's notorious "Kill the Gays" bill. Speaking last year to the National Catholic Register, Turkson opined that while the penalties imposed by such laws are "exaggerated," the desire of many Africans and African leaders to incarcerate or even execute their gay citizens is actually perfectly understandable, and that the "intensity of the reaction [to homosexuality] is probably commensurate with tradition."

Translation: demonizing and persecuting gay people shouldn't be condemned. Rather, it should be understood because in many nations, it's traditional.

Turkson's comments get even worse from there. Pick your jaw up off the floor and meet me after the jump.

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Asked why homosexuality remains so stigmatized in Africa, Turkson reiterated his call for understanding -- and this time, he had the gall to frame it in terms of respect and fairness, as though the right of LGBT people to merely exist and the "cultural values" of those who wish to slaughter them deserve equal consideration and deference:

Just as there's a sense of a call for rights, there's also a call to respect culture, of all kinds of people. So, if it's being stigmatized, in fairness, it's probably right to find out why it is being stigmatized.

In January 2012, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivered an address to the African Union Summit in which he called on African nations to repeal laws that criminalize homosexuality and end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity; the Secretary-General said that doing so was the only way to live up to the ideals of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Cardinal Turkson rebuked him:

We [the Church] push for the rights of prisoners, the rights of others, and the last thing we want to do is infringe upon the rights of anyone. But when you're talking about what's called 'an alternative lifestyle,' are those human rights? [Ban Ki-moon] needs to recognize there's a subtle distinction between morality and human rights, and that's what needs to be clarified.

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