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Protest over cardinal’s remarks that homosexuality – like his own high blood pressure – can be treated

Protest over cardinal’s remarks that homosexuality – like his own high blood pressure – can be treated

Almost 30 protesters gathered for a kiss-in at the gates of Malaga Cathedral in the southern Spanish city last Thursday to protest newly chosen Spanish cardinal Fernando Sebastián’s recent remarks that homosexuality is a "defect" that can be corrected with treatment.

Earlier this week, he made the international headlines when he told Diario Sur, a newspaper in Malaga, his views on homosexuality.

The 85-year-old, who compared homosexuality to health defects such as his own high blood pressure, said: "A lot of people complain and don’t tolerate it but with all respect I say that homosexuality is a defective way of manifesting sexuality, because that has a structure and a purpose, which is procreation… We have a lot of defects in our bodies. I have high blood pressure. Am I going to get angry because they tell me that? It is a defect I have that I have to correct as far as I can…

He added that he is playing the part of a "good friend" by pointing out the "defect": "Pointing out a defect to a homosexual is not an offence, it is a help because many cases of homosexuality can be recovered and normalised with adequate treatment. It is not an offence, it is esteem. When someone has a defect, the good friend is the one who tells him."

The cardinal’s view on homosexuality differs from the Pope who has been widely quoted saying, "If a person is gay and seeks God, who am I to judge?"

His comments have since enraged many LGBT groups.

Gay and lesbian rights group Colegas has called on the archbishop to retract his comment.
"We hope that Fernando Sebastian will correct his words and we note that homosexuality is not a curable disease, but homophobia is," it said in a statement.