Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, Archbishop of Valencia, is once again ruffling feathers with his comments that seemed to reference protections for transgender people in Valencia, according to online newspaper El Español.
“This is what is destructive, the ideology most insidious and destructive to mankind throughout history is the ideology of gender, which is trying to force the world powers in a more or less sneaky way throughout the world, with cruel legislation that does not have to be obeyed,” Cañizares said during a Sunday homily.
“Also in our community there is new legislation inspired by this ideology, and I ask those whom it may concern to avoid going against humanity,” he added, encouraging listeners not to abide by new laws.
“Valencia does not deserve this, nor should it be spearheading the implementation of such insidious and destructive ideology.”
Last week, the Community of Valencia introduced new laws that will give unmarried couples the same rights as married couples
Valencia is also developing comprehensive transgender rights protections, including improving education on gender and providing better medical resources.
Cañizares has stirred up contention in the past for making provocative statements, including saying that the thousands of refugees fleeing war and violence into Europe are a “Trojan horse”.
He also recently criticized what he saw as a “gay empire” being aided by politicians to “work against the family”.
His diocese had to explain these comments this week, saying that his main goal is to “defend the family” and said the accusation that he was homophobic was “subjective and gratuitous”.
The Valencia LGBT advocacy group Lambda said in a statement that they would file a formal hate speech complaint against the archbishop for his comments.