Russian Orthodox Church explains its attitude toward LGBT community
Distinguishing the sin from the sinner is fundamental to Christianity, so the Russian Orthodox Church opposes any harassment of people whose behavior it considers sinful, including gays, a spokesman has said.
“Showing off one’s sinful acts, attempts to involve others in them, should be opposed to by the law,” Vladimir Legoyda, the chairman of the Public Relations and Information Department of the Russian Orthodox Church, said in an interview published on Wednesday. “But nobody should be humiliated.”
He urged people with “sinful propensities” to discuss them with a priest, or at least a therapist.
Publicly ‘coming out’ as queer is an example of an act that turns into a “propaganda action,” which presumes unconditional approval from people who consider themselves “progressive,” Legoyda stated. Modern society has lost the concept of ‘private life’, which, in his view, is where any type of sexual behavior should be confined.
The remarks came as Legoyda was explaining the Church’s stance toward a draft law on ‘gay propaganda’, which is currently being debated in the Russian parliament. The bill, which was approved by the State Duma in the first reading last week, would introduce fines for “propagandizing non-traditional sexual relationships.” The Russian Orthodox Church supports the piece of legislation, whereas critics have argued that members of the LGBT community would be exposed to harassment because of it.
Legoyda stressed that priests should never violate a confession and report parishioners who reveal their homosexuality in confidence. Doing so would be completely at odds with what a good priest should do and would bring no benefit to society, he argued.
He expressed firm opposition to so-called ‘gender affirmation surgery’, calling the intervention, which is currently trendy in many Western nations, “an element of the gender ideology, a criminal business that ruins peoples’ lives, recently even those of children.”
Such surgeries render patients “sterile” and should be banned in Russia, Legoyda believes.