In a move that only continues to solidify Guam Catholic Archbishop Anthony Apuron’s longstanding campaign against any form of same sex union legislation approval in the U.S. territory of Guam, recently issued a letter published in the local archdiocese newsletter. The content of the letter, had the archbishop urging the voters of Guam not to vote for any candidate in any political party who supported recently introduced legislation that would support same sex unions. There are at least 13 candidates that are targeted at this point.
Referring to the legislation as “evil” the Archbishop vehemently opposed the support of any candidate who went on record supporting its passage. It has caused an uproar in the small island community because the majority of the population is Roman Catholic. Also, the continuing debate of the heavy involvement of religious groups like the Catholics and the Mormons and other conservative religious organizations in political issues is challenging the perception of the separation of Church and State.
Again, I am particularly concerned and extremely disappointed in this current “witch hunt” mentality that he has launched against political candidates on the island. It will only escalate the fear about the LGBT community and also skew attention away from more important issues like the economy and the pending military buildup on Guam.
This kind of rhetoric will also feed the kind of bigotry that has been heaped upon the gay community which has typically been fueled by words over the pulpit, which in turn, have been used for justification to commit hate crimes by some people. I personally sat through a mass on Guam and heard one of the Archbishop’s letters read about the same sex issue. No message of Christ’s love there, only hate.
As long as the people of Guam continue to let the Church dictate their voting conscience, we will see people discriminated simply because of their sexual preference. The country is making so much progress on this issue, we do not want to see Guam take a step back into the dark ages at the same time.
If this kind of religious lynching continues, Archbishop Apuron will go down in history as one of the most notorious tramplers of human rights on Guam.
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