National Religious Leadership Roundtable condemns pope’s remarks denouncing gender theory

December 22, 2008

Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592

WASHINGTON, Dec. 22 — The National Religious Leadership Roundtable, convened by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, condemns today’s remarks by Pope Benedict XVI that denounced gender theory, saying it could lead to humanity’s “self-destruction.” Gender theory explores sexual orientation, the roles assigned by society to individuals according to their gender and how people perceive their identity. The Catholic Church has repeatedly attacked gender theory. “If tropical forests deserve our protection, humankind ... deserves it no less,” said the pope.

Statement by the Rev. Rebecca Voelkel
National Religious Leadership Roundtable

“For the pope to purport that he and the Roman Catholic Church have it all figured out, that no mystery remains, is tantamount to blasphemy. Particularly in this time of war and famine and economic chaos, we as Christians of every gender and sexual orientation ought to be working with our brothers and sisters around the globe to deepen respect for all of creation.”


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.