Pope denounces gay marriage

Pope Benedict XVI has denounced gay weddings, terming them as "powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage".

The pope urged US bishops visiting Vatican City to emphasise to their church that premarital sex and cohabitation was "gravely sinful" and "damaging to the stability of society", BBC reported.The pope's comments came shortly after the US states of Washington and Maryland legalised same-sex marriages.

"Sexual differences cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to the definition of marriage," the pope said.

He, however, acknowledged that his point of view may sound "counter-cultural", especially to young people.

But he said bishops should do what they could to ensure traditional marriage would be "defended from every possible misrepresentation of their true nature".

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