Gays and lesbians protested against Pope Benedict XVI’s anti-gay position as well as his views on abortion on Saturday in Darlinghurst, Sydney during his high profile visit to Australia.
The diverse group included drag queens and people wearing t-shirts with slogans such as “Bless me father for I am homo” and “If God hates fags then I hate God.”
The participants were granted the right to hold the protest after a Federal Court ruled against a law that barred people from “annoying” others during a demonstration.
On Saturday, Benedict apologised to victims of child abuse by Catholic priests in a homily at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney.
“…I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured and I assure them that, as their pastor, I too share in their suffering,” the pontiff said.
Critics said that his statement was not enough and questioned why he had not personally met victims of the scandal.
On Monday, however the pope followed up the apology with a private meeting with Australians who had been abused by priests.
He reportedly spoke and prayed with two male and two female representatives of abuse victims.