Polish catholic church opposes draft legislation

February 25, 2004

WARSAW — Catholic bishops in Poland on Tuesday made clear their opposition to controversial draft legislation aimed at giving civil status to gay partnerships in what remains Europe's most devoutly Catholic country.

A statement released by the Episcopate argued the Polish constitution defines marriage exclusively as a relationship between a man and a woman.

"In accordance with this, the main organs of state authority are obliged to oppose various initiatives which could threaten these values fundamental to life," it said.

Bishops warned of "irreparable social harm, especially in the area of child-rearing, marriage and family".

The disputed draft proposes that gay couples be able to register their unions and enjoy civil rights similar, but not identical, to heterosexual pairs.

Tabled by some 36 Polish senators, it falls short of giving gay couples the right to adopt children. – Sapa-dpa

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