Pope Francis has already been named as “Person of the Year” by Time magazine, and somewhat more surprisingly, by the gay magazine, The Advocate. Now he’s been named by another prestigious magazine, the New Yorker, in the number two position in their list of Gay Rights Heroes in 2013. (Number one position went to New York widow Edith Windsor, who was runner-up to Francis for the Advocate nomination).
The Top Ten Gay-Rights Heroes of 2013 : The New Yorker
1. Edith Windsor
2. Pope Francis
In July, when a reporter asked Pope Francis about allegations of a “gay lobby” inside the Vatican, his straightforward answer, with the five words that made headlines around the world—“Who am I to judge?”—was what gay Catholics, and many others, had long been waiting to hear. While the Church has not formally shifted any of its positions on homosexuality, and it remains to be seen whether Catholic institutions will become more welcoming toward gays and lesbians (as Frank Bruni highlighted in a recent column), the new Pope’s language was a stark departure from that of earlier Catholic leaders, who characterized homosexuality as morally wrong and often evil. It is clear that Francis has decided to set a different tone—and that these comments were part of the reason that the editors of Time magazine named him their Person of the Year.