Fresh from doing bugger all to help the situation in the Middle East and (apparently) campaigning to become the first President of the European Union, Tony Blair has set his stall out as a standard bearer for gay rights.
In an interview for Attitude, a title which I can't say I am that familiar with, Tony Blair had the following to say to the Pope:
“There are many good and great things the Catholic Church does, and there are many fantastic things this Pope stands for, but I think what is interesting is that if you went into any Catholic Church, particularly a wellattended one, on any Sunday here and did a poll of the congregation, you’d be surprised at how liberal-minded people were.”
“Now, that doesn’t mean to say there’s not still a lot of homophobia and a lot of things to be done. But the fact that it is unacceptable for any mainstream political party to be anything other than on the side of equality and respect is, in a way, the biggest change. The items of individual legislation matter a lot, but I think it’s the general shift in climate that is perhaps the most important point.”
“When people quote the passages in Leviticus condemning homosexuality, I say to them — if you read the whole of the Old Testament and took everything that was there in a literal way, as being what God and religion is about, you’d have some pretty tough policies across the whole of the piece.”
This contrasts somewhat with the view of the Catholic church leadership, with Pope Benedict XVI having previously described homosexuality as:
"more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil."
Now for me, it sounds like the Pope's stance is pretty unequivocal: If you are gay, you are on a bearing to evil. I wouldn't hold my breath for a change of heart on the part of everyone's favourite pontiff. Nice to see good old Tony keeping his face in the paper though - even if he is fighting a losing battle.