Austria politician tells Pope Francis to speak up for same-sex marriage

Ulrike Lunacek

Ulrike Lunacek

STRASBOURG, France — A prominent, openly lesbian politician from Austria presented Pope Francis with a rainbow scarf on Tuesday, and called on the Pontiff to speak up for women’s rights and same-sex marriage.

Ulrike Lunacek

Ulrike Lunacek

Ulrike Lunacek, who is head of delegation of the Austrian Greens in the European Parliament, addressed the head of the Catholic Church in Strasbourg following a speech in front of Europe’s leaders, reports The Independent.

Lunacek, who is also co-president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, handed the symbolic garment to the Pope in front of a crowd of people.

She said: “I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed about the fact that you didn’t address any of the other urgent things inside the church and outside.

“Women’s issues, women’s rights inside the church. Today is the International Day [for the Elimination of] Violence Against Women. I think you should have mentioned something like that.”

Lunacek went on: “It would be great if you had spoken up in favour of same-sex marriage or also for the use of contraceptives, for example, especially in times of HIV and other situations.

“But I didn’t hear that and that was a bit disappointing.”

Earlier this year, Lunacek was the victim of an attack at LGBT pride in Vienna when an unknown assailant sprayed butyric acid at her while she was giving an interview on the sidelines of the parade. Lunacek and the interview team were not injured.

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