By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com January 09 2012 7:20 PM ET
In some of his strongest antigay rhetoric yet, Pope Benedict XVI said today that same-sex marriage threatens “the future of humanity itself.”
The Catholic pontiff made the comment in his annual State of the World address to the diplomats from about 180 nations who are assigned to the Vatican, Reuters reports. He said the traditional family, “based on the marriage of a man and a woman,” is “not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself.”
Benedict has a long history of staunch opposition to gay rights, both before and since he became pope in 2005. Also, next month he will bestow the title of cardinal on New York City archbishop Timothy Dolan, who strenuously fought his state’s marriage equality law (which nonetheless passed last June) and in September sent a letter to President Obama criticizing his administration’s decision to no longer defend the antigay Defense of Marriage Act.