Conflict & Justice

Femen take their tops off for LGBT rights at the Vatican


Police try to arrest Femen activists at the Vatican on January 13, 2013. Four Femen activists stripped off in a protest for gay rights just as Pope Benedict XVI was reciting his traditional weekly Angelus prayer.



Pope Benedict XVI may have gotten an eyeful on Sunday while he gave his weekly address, as four members of Femen, the Ukrainian, topless protest group, interrupted prayers at St. Peter's square to protest the Church's stance on same-sex adoption. 

With bare breasts that read "Shut Up" and "In Gay We Trust," the women were quickly detained by Vatican police, but not before one observer attempted to bash the protesters with an umbrella, according to RT. 

The Church reiterated its opposition to adoption for same sex couples this week, after a court in Italy ruled in favor of it in a landmark case. 

Pope Benedict said that gay couples do not have the "right" do adopt, reports Reuters, and Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano ran an editorial on Sunday reinforcing the Church's position. 

More from GlobalPost: Analysis: The topless revolution is here

The members of Femen reportedly screamed "Homophobes shut up," interrupting the pope and gaining an angry response from his audience, before they were all arrested. 

While they began as a women's rights protest group that focused on government corruption, human trafficking and sex slavery, Femen has taken up a number of different causes, most recently LGBT rights. 

For more of GlobalPost's reporting on LGBT issues around the world, check out our Special Report "The Rainbow Struggle: A Global Battle Over Gay Rights."