Catholic LGBT Advocacy Groups Challenge Pope’s Statement—Condoms not answer to AIDS

March 19, 2009
Media outlets and advocacy groups reacted strongly when Pope Benedict XVII told reporters during his trip to Africa that condoms are not the best way to curb the spread of HIV, "You can't resolve [AIDS] with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, it increases the problem." The Catholic News Service published the pope's full interview.  Outrage spread throughout the blogosphere, with headlines as extreme as "Impeach the Pope" in a Washington Post blog. GLAAD helped three Catholic LGBT advocacy groups-DignityUSA, New Ways Ministry and Call To Action-to make a public statement.  Marianne Duddy-Burke, DignityUSA's Executive Director, said, "DignityUSA has long called on the Vatican to acknowledge the importance of educating people on the proper use of condoms, and to support making them widely available as a way of saving lives of vulnerable people around the world." They pointed out that the UNAIDS report is clear that condoms combat HIV/AIDS. And, like the Voice of Africa, France and Germany, the Catholic LGBT advocacy groups strongly protested the pope's comments in light of basic values of preventing illness and death.