Does Lady Gaga Represent Catholics Better Than the Pope?

France seems poised to enact marriage equality very soon, and Pope Benedict XVI is going on the offensive in an attempt to block progress for LGBT people in that country. The Pope visited France, where he used his strongest language yet to oppose marriage equality, according to Gay Star News.

The Pope thus raised three points: Firstly saying that marriage between man and woman is a "fact" of nature and "threatened" by other forms of marriage which are "proven" to be "defective". Secondly, he warned of that the consequences of legalizing gay marriage would harm society, perhaps a critical reference to the right to adoption by same-sex couples. Thirdly, by saying that "defending the family and life is propophetic" and not "regressive", he is in fact calling upon the French Catholic lobby to not shy away and take a more active stance against the government’s plans to introduce same-sex marriage.

In an interview with Europe 1 Radio, Lady Gaga was asked about the Pope’s comments. She responded:

“What the Pope thinks of being gay does not matter to the world. It matters to the people who like the Pope and follow the Pope. … It is not a reflection of all religious people.”

Lady Gaga’s comments are very accurate. According to Public Religion Research Institute, Catholics are more supportive of marriage equality than members of any other Christian tradition and more supportive than Americans overall. Nearly three-quarters of Catholics favor either allowing gay and lesbian people to marry or form civil unions.

It’s possible that Lady Gaga didn’t know about this research (although, she might have. She’s a smart person); her comments probably came from a place of personal conviction. Remember, Lady Gaga was raised a Catholic, and her critique of the Roman Catholic hierarchy on LGBT people matches how many Catholics in America feel. Public Religion Research Institute notes that many Catholics rate their church very low when it comes to handling LGBT people. In fact, 70% believe that the Roman Catholic Church has contributed to higher rates of suicide among gay and lesbian youth.

Lady Gaga probably does not see herself as a religious leader, but her support for people of all faiths, sexual orientations, and gender identities has endeared her to many in the United States and around the world. GLAAD applauds her tireless effort to offer wholeness and humanity to all people, including LGBT people.