GLAAD RESPONDS TO POPE FRANCIS’ URGENT CALL FOR PARENTS TO SUPPORT THEIR LGBTQ CHILDREN

January 27, 2022

GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to comments from Pope Francis that encourage parents to support their LGBTQ children.

At his weekly audience in Vatican City yesterday, Pope Francis urged parents never to condemn their children, including children with "different sexual orientations." The comments were spoken in the larger context of parental acceptance, and included other attributes that tempt parents to withdraw support for their child. 

Pope Frances advised parents to "accompany their children and not hide in an attitude of condemnation.” Catholic parents were advised to turn to St. Joseph for help and guidance, as Joseph also learned to accept Jesus as his child.

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis released the following statement: 
"By reaffirming parental support and love are essential for the well-being of LGBTQ youth, Pope Francis is sending a direct message to parents that will hopefully protect LGBTQ young people whose families are forced to turn them away or hide who they are. This is another step towards the Catholic Church reaffirming the dignity of LGBTQ people and standing against those who seek to harm LGBTQ Catholics around the world."

Pope France's comments and advice for LGBTQ parents reflect a growing body of research showing the impact of parental acceptance for LGBTQ youth, including improved health and well-being and reduced risk of depression, substance abuse, HIV infection and self-harm.