Video: Peaceful Vatican equal marriage protest stopped by police

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Gay rights campaigners who held a silent protest near St Peter’s Square on Sunday, during the Pope’s weekly prayers, have said that they had their placards confiscated, and some were detained by police.

A video has also surfaced online, which appears to show a peaceful protest outside of St Peter’s Square, being broken up by police, as soon as placards were held up.

About fifteen activists attended the protest, and carried with them signs emblazoned with messages such as “love has no barriers”, “gay marriage”, “talk about love”, “marry peace”, and “homophobia=death”, reported AFP.

The protesters were not allowed to access the square, which was full of worshippers who turned out to hear Pope Benedict XVI recite the Angelus on the third Sunday of Advent.

In the video, taken by an attendee of the protest, titled, ‘Gay Unions don’t harm peace, weapons do it’, as the placards, displaying text such as, “I am a lesbian. I am not a danger”, are held up, police confiscate the signs almost immediately.

The description section of the video says “in a few seconds, the police took away our signs and detained us for an hour in order to identify us.”

On Friday, in a message for World Day of Peace 2013, Pope Benedict XVI has described same-sex marriage as a threat to justice and peace, adding that it will spark harm for society.

He called for promotion of “the natural structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the face of attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different types of union.

“Such attempts actually harm and help to destabilise marriage, obscuring its specific nature and its indispensable role in society,” he said.

Another of the banners held up by protesters read “love thy neighbour”.

Pope Benedict XVI was also pictured giving a blessing to Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, who promised to pass the country’s notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill as a “Christmas gift”.

On 14 November, following marriage equality victories in the US, the Vatican, in what appeared to be an effort to brush off the moves towards equality, launched a new wave of efforts to strenghthen its opposition to LGBT rights, using newspapers and radio broadcasts to describe equal marriage as ”intrinsically disordered”, and to compare it to polygamy and polyandry.

Also on Sunday, tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Paris, in support of the government’s decision to legalise equal marriage and adoption.