Pope Francis: Being Gay Is a Sin but Not a Crime

Pope Francis has said that “being homosexual is not a crime,” calling for an end to laws banning homosexuality while also saying “it’s a sin.”

Speaking to the Associated Press, he called criminal restrictions on homosexuality “unjust,” continuing that “it’s not a crime.”

“Yes, but it’s a sin,” he said. “Fine, but first let’s distinguish between a sin and a crime.”

Pope Says Homosexuality Is Not A Crime
Pope Francis waves during World Youth Day celebrations on July 26, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The leader of the Catholic Church has said “being homosexual isn’t a crime” and that anti-homosexuality laws are “unjust.”
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

The leader of the Catholic Church, speaking from Vatican City, then said it is “also a sin to lack charity with one another.”

“We are all children of God, and God loves us as we are and for the strength that each of us fights for our dignity,” he said, adding religious leaders in the church “must” work to end laws discriminating against homosexuals.

Dozens of countries around the globe have laws in place that criminalize homosexuality. In 67 countries, there are laws banning private, consensual, same-sex activity, according to the Human Dignity Trust. At least six of these implement the death penalty, the charity said.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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