ProGay welcomes new
Pope with open mind, wariness
By PROGAY Philippines
March 14, 2013
MANILA – The Progressive
Organization of Gays in the Philippines (ProGay), a gay rights
alliance in Roman Catholic majority Philippines, welcomed the election
of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as the new leader of the world's
largest organized religion with guarded hope for reforms in the
"The marginalized lesbian,
gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities especially the
discriminated, poor, and jobless millions living in the slums welcome
a leader who has publicly criticized neoliberal economic policies that
destroy livelihoods, the ecology, and health," said Jomar Amores,
spokesman of ProGay.
Amores however said that the
newly elected Pope Francis made negative statement in 2010 about
same-sex marriage as a "a destructive pretension against the plan of
God." Before the law allowing marriage equality was passed in
Argentina, he preached that "We are not talking about a mere bill, but
rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and
deceive the children of God."
The ProGay leader also noted
that in the 1970s, he was silent as the military dictatorship
persecuted fellow Jesuits who sided with the oppressed Argentinians
during the Dirty War.
"However, we remain hopeful
that Pope Francis continues to become more attuned to a world in
conflict. He is known for his outreach to the poor, his simple
lifestyle, his demonstrated compassion for persons hospitalized with
AIDS complications, and his disdain for hypocrite church officials. He
once reminded his fellow priests that Jesus went around with
prostitutes and thieves," Amores said.
ProGay wishes to see the
Vatican open new frank discussions on the increasing inclusion of LGBT
persons in the life of the church and proposals to increase legal
protections of LGBT rights in secular institutions with less meddling
from local church leaders in the Philippines.