Being gay is not a crime

Dear Editor,

Pope Francis continues to impress the international public not only with his humility and simplicity but also by his courage to pronounce on controversial issues, such as the attitude of the Church towards gays. He is reported to have said that gay people should not be marginalized but integrated into society in what some analysts believe is a radical departure from positions held hitherto by the Catholic Church where the subject of gays and homosexuals was often regarded as taboo to be avoided at best.

This is indeed an enlightened stance taken by the Pope for which he must be commended. There is too much stigma and stereotyping associated with homosexuals by the public at large, owing mainly to a lack of understanding and appreciation of the reasons people behave the way the way they do. The subject of same-sex marriage has now become a highly controversial if not divisive issue in many parts of the world, more particularly in the United States where a number of states have legalized such marriages.

Being gay is not a crime and persons with such orientation should not be treated as criminals for exhibiting deviant behaviour. The debate as to whether such behavioural manifestations are the result of nature or nurture will continue for a long time, even though a more acceptable explanation appeared to more of an interplay between that of nature and nurture.

Yours faithfully,
Hydar Ally

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