Peter Lloyd

Attitude, DIVA, GT and unite over Pope visit

Britain’s leading gay titles – Attitude, DIVA, GT and – have joined together for the very first time in opposition to the Pope’s UK visit, today.

On the eve of London’s latest anti-Pope rally, the brands – who are long-standing publishing rivals – have united in response to Pope Benedict XVI’s state-funded trip, which began in Scotland yesterday and continues across Britain over the weekend.

Earlier this year, Pope Benedict XVI condemned gay marriage in a public address to half a million people. During the annual mass at Fatima’s Sanctuary in Portugal, the 83-year-old described gay marriage as the “most insidious and dangerous challenges that today confront the common good.”

Likewise, he previously claimed behaviour beyond traditional heterosexual relations was a “destruction of God’s work”.

But today, the four titles have joined forces against the attacks.

They have issued this joint statement:

“As our country hosts the Pope this week, we – the leading gay press – stand united against his out-dated stance on homosexuality. We oppose and challenge his view that gay people are unequal, deserve less respect and are a threat to society. Instead, we regard the hate he encourages as one of the greatest threats to fairness and freedom, which should form the foundation of any society, and indeed, religion.”

GT’s Editor, Tris Reid-Smith, said: “ Unlike the jubilation that met his predecessor when he came here in the 80s, it’s clear that this Pope is getting a much cooler, and often even hostile, reception from Britain. It shows how much we’ve grown up as a nation.

“Us taxpayers are spending £12million on this whether we like it or not, so should make sure our concerns and opposition are heard loud and clear.”

Attitude’s Editor, Matthew Todd said: “We receive letters every week from young gay people trying to deal with the shame they feel trying to come to terms with their sexuality. We know that rates of suicide and depression are higher amongst gay teenagers than amongst their straight contemporaries and I believe there is a direct link to the persecution of gay people by religious leaders such as the Pope.

"I will be proudly joining Saturday’s demonstration and I urge all people who want to see equal rights for gay people and women and an end to the Catholic church’s terrifying stance on condoms to do so too."

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