RELIGION
04/28/2014 05:02 pm ET Updated Mar 03, 2017

Gay Priest: LGBT Acceptance Needs To Be Taught Within Catholic Discourse

Pope Francis has been touted as one of the most open-minded popes with regards to the LGBT community after his famous "Who am I to judge?" quote. However, some say the conversation around LGBT persons and Catholicism isn't going deep enough.

Father Gary Meier, a Catholic priest who has offered counseling on LGBT issues for the past 15 years, joined HuffPost Live's Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani to discuss where religion fits into the discourse on sexuality. While Pope Francis has certainly been vocal about gay people, Meier said the conversation needs to extend into the church's teachings.

"It’s interesting to note that what he’s not doing is changing the teaching. That tone is rooted in the teaching, we’ve got to change the teaching. We’ve got to get this out of the realm of morality," Meier said. "Homosexuality is not a moral issue. You’re gay or you're not gay. You’re bisexual or you're not bisexual. We don’t go around asking people if heterosexual people are morally correct. ... It’s not an issue. We need to get the conversation away from the morality because it’s no longer that."

Huffington Post blogger Nathalie Vassallo also joined the conversation and said that as much as she wants to be respectful of religion, she can't ignore the role religion plays in the negativity surrounding gay people.

"I’m very afraid of coming across as that angry gay person, and as much as I want to be really respectful and welcoming, I can’t ignore that so much of the views that we have [that] are so destructive to gays just come from religion," Vassallo said.

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation below to find out why religious places are often the most LGBT-friendly places.

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