Spain's Move Toward Same-Sex "Marriage" Challenged

Citizens Initiative and Episcopate Signal Opposition

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MADRID, Spain, JAN. 13, 2005 ( The Spanish government on Dec. 30 gave the green light to legislation that would allow same-sex «marriage» and adoption of children.

Criticism arose in Spain because, among other things, the decision by the Cabinet did not heed the opinion of the Council of State, the highest consultative organ. Nor was the legislation sent to the Judicial Power’s General Council.

Further, critics say, the legislation disregarded the social debate, and did not respond to a real demand — only 0.11% of surveyed couples in the country are homosexual.

The Spanish Forum of the Family (FEF), which represents 4 million families, presents the full version of the Council of State’s opinion on its Web page.

The text «might even serve as a solid juridical foundation when an appeal is made about the unconstitutional nature» of the draft law, the FEF states.

Meanwhile, 500,000 signatures are being collected to ensure that the legislation is debated and voted on in the courts.

The Popular Legislative Initiative (ILP) is a form of popular political participation recognized by the Spanish Constitution, through which citizens present a law before the General Courts to be debated and carried forward.

The initiative hopes to ensure the parliamentary discussion of a norm that is of interest to a large number of citizens, but which politicians are unwilling to propose for other reasons.

The period for the collection of this ILP ends April 5. As of Dec. 29, more than 300,000 signatures had been collected.

For its part, the Spanish bishops’ conference launched an information campaign on Church teachings about certain moral questions, centered in this case on marriage.

On Jan. 7, in his weekly letter, Archbishop Fernando Sebastian of Pamplona, secretary of the episcopate, called for a reaction against the government’s decision.

«Our government has decided to make same, what is different,» the archbishop said. «It is the same if a man and woman marry, or if two men marry, or two women. Everything is marriage, and all have the same rights.

«From the social and public point of view, is the love of two persons of the same sex the same as the love between a man and a woman? The whole world knows that the feelings, relations and consequences are not the same.»

He added: «To speak like this today is neither ‘culturally’ nor ‘politically’ correct. It can even cause violent reprisals. It would not be the first time. However, it is correct from the Christian point of view, and for that very reason it is humanly and socially correct, just and obligatory.»

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