A prominent Orthodox religious leader in Ukraine has tested positive for coronavirus after blaming the virus on same-sex marriage.
Patriarch Filaret, who leads one of the biggest denominations of Orthodox Christians in Ukraine, called the COVID-19 pandemic God’s punishment for the “evil” of same-sex marriage and the “sinfulness of humanity.” He also stated that God “will not allow me to get sick, because I have to serve the church.”
Source: news today/Youtube
Patriarch Filaret was hospitalized but is now in stable condition. The coronavirus has killed nearly 3,000 people and infected over 140,000 in Ukraine.
Following Filaret’s anti-LGBTQ comments made in March, the Ukrainian LGBTQ rights group Insight filed a lawsuit against him.
“Our aim is to show people that there is no longer place for such statements from church leaders in Ukraine,” Insight’s leader, Olena Shevchenko, told Thomson Reuters Foundation in April. The lawsuit claimed Filaret’s false information could incite violent attacks and further discrimination against LGBTQ people in Ukraine. Same-sex marriage remains illegal in Ukraine.
Blaming the coronavirus on marginalized communities has serious consequences that are already apparent. President Trump has repeatedly blamed China for causing the pandemic and continues using anti-Asian rhetoric to describe COVID-19, using racialized names like the “Chinese virus” and “kung flu.”
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