The Vatican's Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone has come out against a controversial advertising campaign whose goal is to promote the idea that homosexuality is genetic.
The campaign, run by the regional government of Tuscany, uses a photo of a newborn whose hospital identity bracelet bears the French word "homosexuel." Its caption reads "Sexual orientation is not a choice." The image is expected to appear on billboards across Tuscany. The initiative has been praised by some homosexual rights organizations.
Cardinal Bertone told ANSA that, "Doing a publicity campaign like this is not a good idea. This is a bit strange. They shouldn't have gone that far."
The Catholic UDC party called the campaign a "chilling" exploitation of a baby to push the "erroneous" message that homosexuality was innate.
The Italian philosopher Gianni Vattimo, who is openly homosexual, criticized aspects of the publicity campaign. He doubted that homosexuality could be explained away by genes.
"The initiative is in bad taste, in fact they've made a mess of it," he said in comments reported by the daily Corriere della Sera.
The Catholic Church teaches that a homosexual orientation is not sinful, but instead disordered. It is homosexual sex acts that are considered sinful.