Spain Split as Same-Sex Marriage Nears

Calls for Conscientious Objection Sounded

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ROME, APRIL 28, 2005 ( Vatican Radio says that bitter controversies have arisen in Spain given the prospect of legalization of same-sex “marriages.”

“Some mayors proclaim conscientious objection” in their function of marrying these couples, “while Catholic jurists urge the magistracy not to give children in adoption to gay couples,” because of the harm that could be done to them, Vatican Radio reported Wednesday.

Last Thursday, the lower house of the Spanish Parliament approved legislation to extend the right of marriage and adoption of children to same-sex couples. The text will be sent to the Senate, where approval is expected.

Disagreement over the legislation has been expressed by key institutions such as the Council of State, the Council of Judicial Power, and the Royal Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation.

In addition, citizens groups are planning a popular parliamentary initiative to oppose the law and virtually all religious confessions have expressed their disagreement with the norm.

“A direct confrontation is taking shape in Spain between the promoters” of the law and those motivated by religion or social ethics who “are firmly opposed to this falsification of the family institution,” said Vatican Radio.

In an interview Friday with the Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, called for the conscientious objection of Catholics to the measure when it becomes law.

“A law is not right just because of the fact that it is a law,” said the cardinal. “Iniquitous things cannot be imposed on peoples. What is more, precisely because they are iniquitous, the Church calls urgently to freedom of conscience and the duty to oppose.”

“Already some mayors in Spain have announced their refusal to hold weddings between persons of the same sex,” continued Vatican Radio.

Francesco D’Agostino, president of the Italian Union of Catholic Jurists and the National Bioethics Committee, told Vatican Radio: “In all probability, a public employee who refuses to agree to a homosexual marriage will be replaced by another employee equipped with such powers,” who will not have ideological or religious scruples about such a marriage.

He added: “It would seem very strange to me — given the many requests for adoption that cannot be satisfied because of the lack of children up for adoption — if preference is given to homosexual couples.”

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