Pope Francis is speaking out against gay marriage, making one of his strongest statements on the issue just ahead of what could be a major breakthrough in the United States for same-sex unions.
As many nations grapple with the legalization of same-sex marriage, Pope Francis took the opportunity to highlight what he said was the danger of these unions. In a speech in the Philippines, home to a large Catholic population, Pope Francis said plans to legalize gay marriage "disfigure God's plan for creation."
"The family is also threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage," the pope said, hours after warning that Philippine society was "tempted by confusing presentations of sexuality, marriage and the family."
"As you know, these realities are increasingly under attack from powerful forces which threaten to disfigure God's plan for creation and betray the very values which have inspired and shaped all that is best in your culture."
Supreme Court justices have already struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, ruling that parts of the law banning the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages were unconstitutional.
Pope Francis has spoken out against gay marriage before, though never in such strong terms. In November he told a conference on traditional marriage that preserving the family as an institution based on a marriage between one man and one woman was not a political cause but instead "human ecology." He went on to say that "children have the right to grow up in a family with a father and mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child's development and emotional maturity."
In the past, Pope Francis seemed to take away the church's emphasis on gay marriage and abortion, saying the church must not get too focused on these issues.
[Image via KingEbuka]