A Dutch gay organisation has filed a complaint seeking legal action against the Pope for what it called his discriminatory remarks against homosexuals.
    The complaint came in response to remarks by Pope John Paul II from St Peter's Square denouncing the gay pride festival in Rome and describing homosexuality as "contrary to natural law".
    "The Pope's comments give rise to hatred against, or discrimination of certain groups of people," said the complaint submitted to the Amsterdam district attorney's office by a group associated with Gay Krant, a popular Dutch biweekly magazine.
    The Friends of Gay Krant asked the district attorney to request Italian cooperation to investigate whether the pope should be questioned about possible violations of criminal law regarding inciting hatred.
    Henk Krol, the editor of the magazine, admitted the prospects of prosecuting the pontiff were dim, but the symbolism of the complaint was important.
    The petition also complained that the Catholic Church in the Netherlands failed to distance itself from the Pope's anti-gay stance.
   The Netherlands has a long tradition of tolerance for homosexuals, with gay clubs operating openly, gay magazines on display in mainstream bookstores and a public monument dedicated to gays in downtown Amsterdam.
    Thousands of gays paraded in Rome last Sunday, in what the pontiff called an "offence to Christian values in a city that is so dear to the heart of Catholics all over the world," especially in the year 2000.
17 July 00

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