Pope says homosexuality not a crime

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PARIS, France  Pope Francis has criticised laws that criminalise homosexuality as “unjust”, calling on Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church.
“Being homosexual isn’t a crime,” Francis said during an interview on Tuesday with The Associated Press.

Francis acknowledged that Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support laws that criminalise homosexuality or discriminate against the LGBTQ community, and he himself referred to the issue in terms of “sin”.

But he attributed such attitudes to cultural backgrounds and said bishops in particular need to undergo a process of change to recognise the dignity of everyone.
“These bishops have to have a process of conversion,” he said, adding that they should apply “tenderness, please, as God has for each one of us”.

Some 67 countries or jurisdictions worldwide criminalise consensual same-sex sexual activity, 11 of which can or do impose the death penalty, according to The Human Dignity Trust, which works to end such laws. Experts say that even where the laws are not enforced, they contribute to harassment, stigmatisation and violence against LGBTQ people