Nicaraguan Episcopate Alarmed About Attacks on the Family

Warns About Push for «Sexual Rights» and «Gender Ideology»

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MANAGUA, Nicaragua, MARCH 30, 2003 ( Nicaragua’s Catholic bishops are warning about a pamphlet being distributed to adolescents by the U.N. Population Fund regarding «sexual and reproductive rights» and «gender ideology.»

In an exhortation dated March 19, the bishops’ conference noted that the pamphlet tells young people that they have the right to «choose their civil status: married, single, stable de facto union.»

This, in fact, discriminates against the family based on marriage «as it puts it on the same level as any other form of coexistence,» the bishops said.

Even more worrying is the effort being made to legalize same-sex unions, as implied in «some articles of the Equal Opportunities Law, which is being debated in the upper house» of the National Assembly.

That legislation contains «vague and ambiguous terms such as ‘gender,’ ‘sexual and reproductive rights’ and ‘reproductive health,'» the bishops said.

The pamphlet was also issued by the Attorney General’s Office for the Defense of Human Rights, as well as the Special Office for Children and Adolescents.

The episcopal message lamented the advent of groups that try «to impose ‘gender ideology’ in our society, which is contrary to our authentic family and moral values.»

«Those who defend this ideology say that ‘to be a man or woman is not fundamentally determined by sex but by culture,'» so that one’s «generic sexual identity» is independent of one’s «personal sexual identity.»

As a result, «for this individualist concept of the person, any sexual attitude would be justifiable, including homosexuality, and, in fact, it is society that should change to include — together with masculine and feminine — other genders, such as ‘homosexual, lesbian, bisexual or undifferentiated.»

The pamphlet also explains «some of the supposed sexual and reproductive rights of adolescents: To decide to have or not have sexual relations and when to have them … to decide the purpose of the exercise of sexuality: affection, communication or procreation … to have the freedom for the opportune use and choice of the appropriate contraceptive or pro-conception methods.»

Sexual education is necessary, the bishops say. But they point out that parents are the first to be responsible for this instruction, adjusted to the ages of their children and stressing the vocation of love in marriage.

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