An LGBT group in Mexico has controversially outed four catholic priests who it says are in secret gay relationships.
The release of the clerics’ names comes in the wake of a number of mass protests supported by the Catholic church that saw tens of thousands across the country marching against marriage equality.
“Everyone deserves the right to be in the closet. But when you come out and condemn homosexuality, condemn gay marriage, and try to influence a secular state, you’ve lost the right to the closet,” Cristian Galarza, from the National Pride Front, told The Telegraph.
The move has sowed division among LGBT groups, with some activists condemning the outings as being unethical.
“They can spin it anyway they want, but they’re ultimately using someone’s sexual orientation as a tool against that person, which is exactly what the LGBT movement is not about,” explained Enrique Torre Molina, from All Out.
Same-sex marriage was effectively legalised by Mexico’s Supreme Court in June after it ruled that state bans on marriage equality are unconstitutional.
The law in all 31 states, however, has still not been amended and same-sex couples who wish to marry in some states need to petition the courts, a long and costly exercise.
The latest protests are in response to proposals by President Enrique Peña Nieto to have lawmakers officially legalise same-sex marriage and gay adoption across the country.
Not only did a number of senior clerics attend the marches, but Pope Francis himself has encouraged the protesters.
“I am very happy to associate myself with the Bishops of Mexico, in supporting the commitment of the church and of civil society in favour of the family and of life, which in this time require special pastoral and cultural attention in all the world,” he said in Rome on Sunday.
It is not the first time the Pope has interfered in a country’s debate on same-sex marriage. In December last year, he encouraged Slovenians to vote against marriage quality in a referendum in order “to preserve the family as the basic unit of society”.
While Francis has shown signs of being more accepting of gay and lesbian people, he and the Catholic Church remain fundamentally opposed to same-sex relationships and especially gay marriage.