in brief: topless feminists protest against homophobia in the vatican
Four women from Ukrainian feminist group FEMEN staged a topless protest on Sunday as the pope delivered his weekly address in St Peter’s Square. Painted with the slogans ‘In Gay we Trust’ and ‘Shut up!’, the women shouted ‘Shut up, homophobes!’ into the crowd of pilgrims and tourists.
One of the protesters, Inna Shevchenko, informed the media that ‘today we are here to protest against homophobia.’
Specifically, they were protesting the Vatican’s opposition to same-sex adoption. The Italian courts recently rejected an appeal by a man who feared his child would not receive a ‘balanced upbringing’ by living with his mother and female partner.
The Vatican paper, L’Osservatore Romano, ran an editorial that played down the court ruling, reinforcing the Vatican’s support of the “traditional” family unit. According to the New York Daily News, the Vatican has become increasingly vocal in its opposition to same-sex marriage and adoption rights in recent months.
The FEMEN website demands ‘the Vatican to stop the incitement of the middle-age fire of intolerance regarding to dissent and sexual freedom.’ Their movement claims to ‘defend with their breast sexual and social equality in the world.’
The pope seemed undaunted by the protest. One pilgrim began beating the women with her umbrella. The protesters were quickly hauled away by Italian police.