Pope Francis drew high marks from liberals last week for his public stances on income inequality and climate change. That honeymoon came to an abrupt halt when it was confirmed Tuesday that he took time out of his busy schedule to meet with Rowan County clerk Kim Davis.

LGBT groups the National LGBTQ Task Force and the Human Rights Campaign are denouncing the pontiff's decision to meet with Davis, who discriminated against same-sex couples and ignored a Supreme Court Order to follow the law.

"The Pope's meeting with Kim Davis breathes the oxygen of publicity and unwarranted credibility into the idea that discrimination against LGBTQ people and having contempt for the law is acceptable," said Russell Roybal, Deputy Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force. "We can only hope that Pope Francis was badly advised about the implications of such a meeting. Clearly it sends an alarming signal and it runs completely at variance with his now increasingly less credible 'who am I to judge' comments and his speech to Congress about practicing the Golden Rule.

"We urge Pope Francis and the Catholic hierarchy to unequivocally condemn discrimination against LGBTQ people and to support the rule of law. We respectfully suggest that the Catholic Church update its teachings to welcome and affirm all LGBTQ Catholics and to better reflect the views of the vast majority of Catholics on a whole range of issues including reproductive rights," he said.

"Despite choosing to meet with Kim Davis, the Pope failed to respond to an invitation to speak with LGBT faithful at the Human Rights Campaign headquarters - located right across the street from where he prayed with U.S. Bishops," writes HRC. "During his visit, the Pope repeatedly preached a message of tolerance and inclusion. But, if these reports are true, it will be a disappointing end to his historic trip."

HRC is encouraging all to embrace LGBT Catholics - not Kim Davis, by contacting the pontiff here.

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