Costa Ricans Oppose Same-Sex "Marriage"

Bishops Offer Guidelines to Promote the Common Good

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SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, SEPT. 7, 2010 ( The bishops of Costa Rica are offering guidelines to protect the dignity of marriage and promote the common good, amid a debate in the nation about homosexual unions.

A message from the prelates was published Monday and signed by Archbishop Hugo Barrantes Ureña of San Jose, president of the Episcopal Conference of Costa Rica. The message was addressed to the Costa Rican Congress.

«As the Church, we see in marriage, which is the essential foundation of the family, a most important value, which must be defended from every threat that puts its solidity in danger,» the prelates affirmed. «Marriage is not just any union between human persons. It was founded by the Creator, who has gifted it with a particular nature, of essential properties and undeniable ends.»
The prelates explain that it is this fact that moves them to oppose «the various projects that, openly or obliquely, pretend to equate unions between persons of the same sex with heterosexual marriage since the legalization of the former deforms the perception of fundamental moral values and injures the marital institution as such.»

The family, as the fundamental cell of society, «must receive the greatest possible protection, especially at the moment of its constitution, and during the whole process of the care and education of children,» they urged.

Shirking duties

Protecting the family is a duty of the state, the Central American bishops continued, and it implies promoting the values proper to authentic marriage and fecundity, based on respect for natural law.
«On putting the union between persons of the same sex on equal juridical conditions to that of marriage or the family, the state acts arbitrarily and enters into contradiction with its own duties,» they cautioned.

The Costa Rican bishops emphasized that people with homosexual tendencies are created in God’s image and «worthy of all respect» and «must be accepted with respect.»
Nevertheless, they clarified, «the Church distinguishes between respect for every person, regardless of his sexual orientation, and the rejection of homosexual practices, as acts objectively contrary to God’s plan for the human being.»

Fulfilling a mission

Noting that principles of non-discrimination are invoked to promote the homosexual agenda, they recommended reflecting on the difference between homosexual relationships in private and those in public under a legal framework, «approved and converted into one of the institutions protected and promoted by juridical legislation.»

The principle of equality does not imply dispensing with differentiating elements, they asserted, nor does inequality always constitute discrimination.

The bishops warned that although surveys have shown an immense majority of Costa Ricans oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions, «the gay-lesbian organizations, which portray themselves as a true political movement — the gay lobby — continue promoting, with the support of some of the media and of some members of political parties, various initiatives in the hope of legal recognition of unions between homosexuals.»
«It is a grave injustice to sacrifice the common good and the right of the family in order to obtain goods that can and must be guaranteed by ways that do not injure the majority of the social body,» the bishops cautioned.

And they concluded by urging the members of Congress, «in particular those who vouch for their faith in Christ,» «to consecrate themselves with sincerity, rectitude, charity and fortitude to the mission entrusted to you by the people, that is, to legislate on the basis of ethical principles and in benefit of the common good.»

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