Yesterday, a representative of the pope attending a U.N. panel on anti-gay violence read a statement from the Holy See that can reasonably interpreted as condemning at least part of Uganda’s proposed anti-homosexuality act. The money quote:
As stated during the debate of the General Assembly last year, the Holy
See continues to oppose all grave violations of human rights against
homosexual persons, such as the use of the death penalty, torture and
other cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. The Holy See also
opposes all forms of violence and unjust discrimination against
homosexual persons, including discriminatory penal legislation which
undermines the inherent dignity of the human person.
But as Timothy Kincaid points out over on Box Turtle Bulletin, there was no actual naming of the Uganda bill. And, in fact, Vatican does not oppose criminalization of homosexual acts, as it made abundantly clear last year when it opposed U.N. endorsement of a universal declaration to decriminalization of homosexuality. Read the above paragraph carefully, and you are entitled to conclude that the Holy is prepared to give the green light to violations of homosexual persons’ human rights that are not “grave,” as well as discrimination that is “just”–whatever these may be.
On Uganda, the Vatican has thus sounded a muted horn. Better than nothing, but not a whole lot better.