Pope Francis to be Feature on Gay-Rights Magazine Cover
December 19, 2013 Leave a comment
The winner of this year’s TIME’s Person of the Year has had quite the year. Between shaking up the foundation of the Catholic Church and revealing his past occupations (a night club bouncer, for one), Pope Francis has been seen by many as a breath of fresh air to a dried out establishment. And now, a major gay-rights magazine will honor the pope—the first time a gay-rights publication has embraced such a high-profile member (the highest-profile member to be exact) in a publication.
It’s important to note that while Pope Francis has aligned himself with the Catholic Church against same-sex marriage, The Advocate magazine chose to honor the man because of his sharp turn away from strong anti-gay messages of previous leaders in the church. Francis’ famous quote, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge” illustrates the changes occurring in religion when it comes to same-sex partnerships. The cover of the issue features a photo of Francis with the quote and a photo-shopped image of “NOH8” on the pope’s cheek.
The honor comes just in time for Francis’ 77th birthday, who spent the happy day with homeless people in the Vatican—a move which continues to elevate his status as a modest, down-to-earth religious leader.
The pope, however, still isn’t ready to embrace equal rights. He has called marriage equality a “destructive attack on God’s plan”, and even believes that adoption by same-sex couples serves as a kind of discrimination against children.
The Vatican press office has decided not to comment on The Advocate’s choice to feature their leader on the cover, but said TIME’s honor was unsurprising.