Vatican to call on Catholic politicians to oppose gay marriages
July 31, 2003
VATICAN CITY - The Roman Catholic Church, in a condemnation of same-sex unions, is to issue a specific call Thursday to Catholic politicians to fight legislation allowing gay marriages now recognised in many
parts of Europe and North America.
The document "Considerations relative to plans to recognise legally unions between homosexuals'" is signed by the German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and repeats arguments already advanced by the church to condemn same-sex unions.
Italian gay rights groups plan to demonstrate Thursday at the Vatican against the publication of the document, Members of the small Radical Party meanwhile said they would petition the Rome prosecutor's office to take legal action against the Vatican for incitement to violate civil and human rights.
Legal unions between persons of the same sex have been authorised in a number of countries, including The Netherlands, Belgium and two Canadian provinces.
France, Germany and Argentina allow for homosexual couples to register their partnerships with the civil authorities and benefit from some of the rights of heterosexual married couples.
In largely Catholic Croatia, the parliament adopted earlier this month legislation giving homosexual couples the same rights as those enjoyed by unmarried heterosexual couples living together.
The Italian daily La Repubblica said Pope John Paul II was particularly concerned that laws recognising de facto heterosexual or homosexual unions should not be adopted in other European Union
countries, notably in Italy, via resolutions passed by the European Parliament.
In January the Vatican issued a "doctrinal note" to Catholic politicians on questions affecting their participation in political life, dealing not only with homosexual unions but also euthansia
and abortion. -Sapa-AFP
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