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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 28, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 52
Bad pope, no flowers
Section One
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Bad pope, no flowers

Dutch official criticizes Benedict XVI over marriage comments

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

'Why can Romeo marry Juliet but not Julius?' Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans asked on December 22.

Speaking to reporters, Timmermans criticized Pope Benedict XVI for the pontiff's statement last week against same-sex marriage.

'If every person is unique, as the pope's representative said in Dublin last week, then why should that unique person not have the right to stand up for their own sexual orientation?' Timmermans asked.

'Marriage between two people of the same sex is having respect for the uniqueness of the individual.'

Timmermans has been foreign minister since November 5. He was previously the Netherlands' secretary of European affairs.

BLAMES GAYS FOR 'CRISIS'
The pope used his traditional Christmas homily this year to denounce same-sex marriage, which he claimed threatens the very 'essence of the human creature.'

'There is no denying the crisis that threatens [the family] to its foundations - especially in the Western world,' the pope said on December 21. 'When such commitment is repudiated, the key figures of human existence likewise vanish: father, mother, child - essential elements of the experience of being human are lost.'

The Netherlands legalized same-sex marriage in April 2001, becoming the first country in the world to do so. Same-sex sexual relations were legalized in 1811, when revolutionary France invaded the country and instituted the Napoleonic Code.

While polls show that 90% of ethnic Dutch people view their LGBT neighbors as 'moral,' more recent immigrants from Turkey and North Africa disagree. Anti-Gay hate crimes in the Netherlands are often attributed to Muslim immigrants.

ACTIVISTS URGE PUSHBACK
According to the Dutch RTL News Service, the LGBT rights group COC Nederland has been lobbying the FM to lodge a formal protest with the pope's diplomatic representative in the Netherlands, and to work to terminate the Vatican's special status at the United Nations.

'Wars are raging and people are dying of hunger, and the Vatican chooses to condemn people who love each other,' a COC spokesperson told RTL. 'And when it comes to Uganda, where the most terrible anti-Gay legislation is being introduced in the name of religion, the Vatican says not a word.'

LGBT rights activists have also launched a new Facebook page, 'No Flowers for the Pope,' a reference to the fact that the Netherlands sends flowers to the pope every Easter. The page had reportedly gathered 7,000 likes by December 22.

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