Protesters target Vatican over gay marriage slight

VATICAN CITY Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:54am EST

1 of 8. Members of a gay activist group hold signs in front of St. Peter's square in the Vatican December 16, 2012. A group of demonstrators protesting against the Roman Catholic Church's stance on homosexual marriage tried to enter St Peter's Square in the Vatican on Sunday as Pope Benedict was giving his weekly address to pilgrims.

Credit: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

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VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - A group of demonstrators protesting against the Roman Catholic Church's stance on homosexual marriage tried to enter St Peter's Square in the Vatican on Sunday as Pope Benedict was giving his weekly address to pilgrims.

The protesters - who were kept out of the square by police - were upset over a speech by the pontiff on Friday in which he appeared to include efforts to legalize gay marriage among the threats to peace in the world.

"We find intolerable the assertion that gay unions are dangerous to the world. Weapons are much more dangerous," Gianfranco Mascia, 52, an activist who organized the protest told Reuters. "No to arms, yes to rights for everyone,"

The group of about 15 people held up signs reading "Gay unions don't harm peace, weapons do" in various languages.

(Reporting by Naomi O'Leary; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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