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When Pope Benedict XVI visits Britain next year, at least one group of people won't be greeting him with open arms.
The Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association, a group that promotes nonviolent resistance to homophobia, is planning a "strong" protest when the pope touches down in the United Kingdom in early 2010. Details have yet to emerge on the pope's trip, which will be Britain's first papal visit since 1982. The Gay Humanists are not happy about their Vatican visitor; even before he was elected pope, Joseph Ratzinger was known to be vehemently antigay, and he has condemned condom use as an effective tool against HIV.
"This pope has shown himself to be paranoid about homosexuality," said George Broadhead, an official with the Pink Triangle Trust, a charity affiliated with GLHA. "His opposition to LGBT rights knows no bounds. In his Christmas message last year he declared that saving humanity from homosexual behavior was as important as saving the rainforest from destruction... The Vatican reinforced its antigay reputation by strongly opposing a U.N. declaration calling for an end to discrimination against gays, and the pope's Christmas message provided clear evidence of an obsession about homosexuality which is tantamount to paranoia."
Broadhead said it's "imperative" that a strong, clear message is sent to Pope Benedict XVI, adding that gay groups protested the 1982 papal visit by Pope John Paul II.