Jorge Mario Bergoglio is a former archbishop of the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina—and the newly elected pope. And while many LGBT groups, including GLAAD and the HRC, have taken an optimistic outlook on the new pope being a potential ally, there’s at least one group that has been very vocal about it’s frustration with the Vatican’s choice.
That group is the Argentine LGBT Federation (FALGBT), and they have had personal experience with Bergoglio. They have already condemned the newly elected pope, saying that “the election… marks a clear desire of the Vatican to radicalize its position against the recognition of diverse family structures.”
FALGBT is the leading LGBT rights group in Argentina, a country which has seen some groundbreaking changes in the past few years. In 2010, same-sex marriage was legalized. In 2012, a gender identity law was passed, allowing adults to have a gender change without legal or doctoral permission. According to the Gay Star News, Bergoglio was one of the most outspoken opponents against the laws, calling marriage equality “the plan of the devil” and saying he was fighting “God’s war.”
We can imagine he wasn’t happy with the 2012 law that was passed, allowing gay and lesbian foreigners to legally marry in the country, so long as they could provide a copy of their passports and a temporary address in Argentina.
FALGBT is under no illusion that the newest pope will start whistling another tune anytime in the near future. That’s incredibly unfortunate, considering the Catholic Church is one of the biggest remaining opponents to LGBT equality. But the tides will continue to change with time, and the Church will likely soon find itself left behind on the wrong side of history.
“It would be extremely positive if the Vatican, under Pope Francis, changed its ways and finally supported the United Nations Declaration Against the Penalization of Homosexuality by signing on to the statement,” said FALGBT president Esteban Paulón.
“At the very least, he will no longer be able to make arguments from a lack of knowledge as Argentina today is a more equal and peaceful country in which families have been strengthened and diversified thanks to the Marriage Equality and Gender Identity Laws.”