The pope used his Christmas speech today, in part, to further denounce gay marriage. Benedict XVI took his opposition "to new heights," the AP reports, saying that homosexuality is a "manipulation of nature" that destroys the "essence of the human creature." The annual speech, one of his most important of the year, was dedicated to family values as support for same-sex marriage and adoption grows. Giving such rights to gays is akin to attacking the traditional family, the pope said. He also took on the issue of gay marriage in his annual peace message last week, calling it—along with abortion and euthanasia—a threat to world peace.