RIO DE JANEIRO, July 24, 2013 ( – Gay rights and feminist groups are planning to stage protests during Pope Francis' stay in Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day.

The pope has already been subjected to a homosexual “kiss-in” along the papal motorcade route on Monday when he arrived in Rio. Video clips from the protest on July 22 showed lip-locked demonstrators, some of them topless, while others waved rainbow flags, according to a U.S.News report.

Various media reports say that a gay rights group is planning another “beijaco” or kiss-in during a speech Pope Francis will give on Copacabana beach on July 25. The group is protesting against the Catholic Church’s stance on homosexuality and gay “marriage.” 

Meanwhile, a group of Brazilian feminists, the Brazilian Women Association, is planning a “SlutWalk” to be staged on Copacabana beach on July 27, to protest sexual violence against women and “control of female sexuality.” 


“We've decided to organize SlutWalk during the Pope's visit to establish a political counterpoint,” Rogeria Peixinho, an activist with the campaign, told the Mexican newspaper Milenio. “We want to show that there's another youth and another way of thinking that is against oppression and the control of female sexuality.” 

Peixinho said that SlutWalk participants will march in suggestive “nun outfits” or other lewd clothing at the venue to also protest the Church's position against abortion. 

“I've used nun costumes for at least three years. We will question the sexual violence that women suffer who also are nuns. Many women become pregnant within the convents and often are forced to have an abortion,” she claimed. 

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A YouTube video of the Brazilian Women Association's SlutWalk of 2011 shows scantily clad women, some topless, marching with signs that read “Unholy Cow” and “We're all bi**hes.” 

Rio police have said that they will not interfere with protests at WYD unless there is a safety concern. 

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff assured Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno, president of the National Conference of the Bishops of Brazil (CNBB), that despite a wave of violent protests that swept the country earlier this year, security would not be a problem, according to a Rio Times report. 

The commander of the Corps of Gendarmerie of Vatican City, the Vatican’s security force, General Domenico Giani, told the Rio Times that he has full confidence in the security preparations for World Youth Day. 

“I think that there will not be any safety issues, whether for the Pope or for those in attendance as we are studying everything down to the smallest details,” Giani said. 

The Metropolitan Archbishop of Rio, Orani Tempesta, said that, according to conversations held with the public authorities, the protests will not affect the event as it is “held in high esteem by all.” 

“The protesters themselves are insisting that there be no violence,” said Auxiliary Bishop Leonardo Steiner of Brasilia, secretary general of the CNBB. 

Archbishop Tempesta added that the CNBB has lent its support to peaceful protests as a show of “Christian values.” 

What motivates the protesters “is in some ways similar to the spirit of WYD – the desire to work together for a new world, for a new life, a new society [with] values that also seek to change the world and are rooted in justice and peace, and that can offer a different perspective on these demands for change here in Brazil,” the archbishop said. 

Organizers of World Youth Day 2013 in Rio anticipate that over 2.5 million national and international WYD pilgrims will be attending the five-day event. 

For more information visit the official WYD Rio 2013 website here


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