Pope Benedict denounces gay marriage during his annual Christmas message

The Pope sent a clear message to gay rights activists who are celebrating gains made this year – the Vatican still thinks same-sex marriage is a ‘manipulation of nature.’

Pope Benedict XVI, right, made it clear during his Christmas speech that the Vatican believes marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Pope Benedict used his annual Christmas message to denounce gay marriage, saying that it destroyed the “essence of the human creature.”

In one of his most important speeches of the year, the Pope stressed that a person’s gender identity is God-given and unchangeable. As a result, he sees gay marriage as a “manipulation of nature.”

“People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being,” he said at the Vatican on Friday. “They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.”

The Pope has said that gay marriage, like abortion and euthanasia, is a threat to world peace.