Current Affairs

France ‘still waiting for response’ over sending gay ambassador to the Vatican

Nick Duffy June 2, 2015
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Vatican City is keeping France waiting – after the country nominated a gay diplomat to be the French ambassador to the Vatican.

Back in January , the French government selected openly gay diplomat Laurent Stefanini to head to the home of the Catholic Church – which remains strongly opposed to LGBT rights.

However, it was reported in April that the Vatican was ‘freezing out’ the country’s selection of ambassador – refusing to respond to the nomination at all.

France previously nominated a gay ambassador to Vatican City in 2007 – but backed down after receiving no response from the Vatican.

However, despite six months of silence from the Vatican, this time France is refusing to rescind Mr Stefanini’s nomination – in an apparent bid to either force the Vatican to either accept it or openly reject it.

The country now expects a response from the Vatican imminently – though it not known whether a reply will indeed come.

According to AP, the French government is expecting a reply from the Vatican within “a week to 10 days”.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin insisted previously: “The dialogue is still open and we hope that it might conclude in a positive light.”

François Hollande’s government has implemented a number of reforms on LGBT issues, introducing same-sex marriage in 2013. However, there is still considerable opposition from right-wing parties and Catholics.

Despite a recent PR blitz attempting to bolster his gay-friendly image, the Pope is yet to lift any of the actively homophobic and transphobic policies of his predecessors.

He has also rallied against same-sex marriage, inviting representatives from listed hate groups to a ‘traditional marriage’ conference last year, and recently urged Slovakians to vote against equal marriage.

The Catholic leader has also compared transgender people to nuclear weapons.

More: ambassador, Anti-gay, Equality, Europe, France, France, French, Gay, homophobic, LGBT, Religion, Rights, Vatican, vatican city

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