New EU justice chief defends views on 'sinful' gays
October 06, 2004
BRUSSELS — Incoming EU justice commissioner Rocco Buttiglione defended his
conservative views Tuesday including labelling homosexuality a
"sin," insisting they will not interfere with his political
Citing philosopher Emmanuel Kant's distinction between morality
and law, the Italian official – himself a professor of philosophy
– said he "may well think that homosexuality is a sin but that has
no influence on the law."
"One can have a community of citizens with different moral
convictions," he told a confirmation hearing at the European
Parliament for the Brussels job, which he is due to take up on
Asked about gay marriage, he continued: "The family exists to
allow a woman to have children and to be protected by her husband,"
provoking murmurs among EU deputies questioning him.
"It's not a question which is of interest to the EU, that is to
do with philosophy and not politics," he added.
A native of Gallipoli in Italy's southern Pouilles region, the
soft-spoken cigar-smoking Buttiglione is known for his positions
close to the Vatican on abortion, artificial insemination and
"A good Catholic can be a good European. If not we would not
have had great men like Konrad Adenauer, Robert Schuman or Helmut
Kohl," he said.
Buttiglione, 56, was supported for the post by his centrist
Christian Democratic Union. He was a long-time member of the
conservative Catholic group Communion and Liberation. – Sapa-AFP
Restricted gay marriages stir few European emotions [27/02/2004]