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Spanish court throws out 'hate crime' complaint against archbishop

Banner mons francisco javier martinez credit archdiocese of granada cna

Archbishop Francisco Javier Martinez (Credit: Archdiocese of Granada)

A Spanish state prosecutor has dismissed a ‘hate crime’ complaint against the Archbishop of Granada after an LGBT activist group claimed he had preached hate against transgender people in a homily.

According to EFE news agency, the case was thrown out because the Granada prosecutor’s office could not find sufficient cause to bring legal action against Archbishop Francisco Javier Martínez of Granada.

In February, the activist group “Observatory against LGBT-phobia” filed a complaint against the archbishop, claiming that he “promoted hate speech against LGBT persons” in a homily in which he lamented the introduction of gender ideology to young children in school. “There is a short-sightedness and lack of intelligence” in introducing this ideology to children, the archbishop said in his homily at the time. “We are equal in dignity...but we are not interchangeable,” he said of biological differences between men and women.

In their complaint, the activist group asked the judge to prosecute the archbishop “in an express and exemplary way, in order to put an end to this unjust scourge of hate speech.”

The prosecution said the case was dismissed in part because of freedom of speech found in the Spanish constitution, according to EFE.

A similar complaint was filed against another archbishop in 2016, when feminist and LGBT activist groups accused Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, Archbishop of Valencia, of hate speech following a homily in which he warned of attacks against the family that came from “movements and actions of the gay lobby, ideologies such as radical feminism or the most insidious of all, gender ideology.” A court in Valencia dismissed the case in September 2016, citing the cardinal’s freedom of speech.  

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