Family Pride, PFLAG condemn Pope's comments

Tue. January 28, 2003 12:00 AM by Ron Matthew Inawat

Washington, DC - The Family Pride Coalition and PFLAG join together to condemn the remarks made by Pope John Paul II regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families.

Following the Roman Catholic Church's world conference on families in the Philippines, Pope John Paul II spoke from his studio window above St. Peter's Square, railing against same-sex marriage, and calling families lacking a mother and a father "inauthentic."

The Pope said the conference reaffirmed that the family, based on a union between one man and one woman, is the authentic signal "of life and hope for humanity." Further defining his position on what does not constitute a family, Pope John Paul II said, "It's certainly not that inauthentic one based on individual egoism. Experience has shown that such a 'caricature' has no future and cannot give future to any society."

"The Pope's comments are simply cruel, unnecessary and damaging," said Aimee Gelnaw, executive director of the Family Pride Coalition, the only national organization exclusively dedicated to serving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents and their families. "To call our families a 'caricature' is an affront to all lesbian and gay parents who have created their families with an enormous amount of love and caring."

"This language does nothing more than foster discrimination and hate," said David Tseng, executive director of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). "No one is served by this type of divisive effort, least of all, our gay and lesbian family members."

The Family Pride Coalition is the only national non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the well being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents and their families through mutual support, community collaboration and public understanding.

PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. PFLAG provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.