Canada's legalization of Gay Marriages has apparently upset the delicate balance that is judicial law. The Christian Church is attempting to mettle back into Government affairs by urging Politicians not to allow Same-Sex marriages, Adoptions, etc. President Bush implies that we are "all sinners", but he does not believe any but a man and woman should be allowed to wed.
I don't see how it is the government's or church's business who you decide to love and eventually marry. I also wish the pope would keep his nose in the Vatican where it belongs, and out of the influence of politics where it has no place. At least not in my books.
For all Catholics out there - You know I respect you and your religion, but growing up with a father of a Greek Orthodox religion, criticizing the Pope is nothing new to me.
I just wish this type of prejudice would die.
Anyways - The articles are in the full, unabridged text for your reading and contemplation. You come to your own opinions.
"VATICAN CITY (July 31) - The Vatican urged Catholics and non-Catholics alike Thursday to unite in campaigning against gay marriages and gay adoptions, seeking to stem the widening legal recognition of same-sex unions and the increasing acceptance of homosexual lifestyles.
Catholic politicians have a ``moral duty'' to oppose laws granting legal rights to gay couples, and non-Catholics should follow their lead since the issue concerns ``natural moral law'' and not just Roman Catholic teaching, said the Vatican's orthodoxy watchdog, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in its latest effort to rally public opinion on the issue.
The 12-page document, which was issued in seven languages, was immediately criticized by gay groups across North America and Europe, where politicians - including some conservatives - are increasingly granting homosexual couples the same legal status as heterosexual couples.
``This new document is intended to intimidate public officials across the globe into doing what the Vatican has not been able to do on its own - stem the growing tide for justice,'' said Marianne Duddy, executive director of Dignity USA, an organization of gay Catholics. ``It is a tremendous shame that the leaders of our Church are becoming the vocal proponents for intolerance and continuing discrimination.''
But the document was welcomed by some conservatives and the clergy, including those in Pope John Paul II's native Poland, where Roman Catholic bishops read out excerpts of the text at a press conference to condemn a proposal by leftist lawmakers to legalize homosexual unions.
``The idea is immoral and hurting to families and marriages,'' said Bishop Stanislaw Stefanek. ``We strongly object to it.''
The document, ``Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons,'' sets out a battle plan for politicians confronted with legislation legalizing same-sex unions and also rails against gay adoption, saying children raised by same-sex parents face developmental ``obstacles'' because they are deprived of having either a mother or a father.
``Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development,'' it said.
The document says Catholic politicians must vote against laws granting recognition to homosexual unions. If the laws are already on the books, politicians must speak out against them, work to repeal them and try to limit their impact on society.
``There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family,'' the document said.
``To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral,'' it added, although it didn't provide for specific penalties for Catholics who fail to oppose such laws.
It wasn't clear what impact, if any, the new document would have on Catholic lawmakers grappling with demands from gay groups for equality in issues such as inheritance rights and being allowed to make health care decisions for incapacitated partners.
Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, who is Catholic, has supported a proposed law that would conform to court rulings in defining marriage as a union between two people, rather than a man and a woman.
``As prime minister of Canada, he has the moral responsibility to protect the equality of Canadians,'' a spokesman, Thoren Hudyma, told the Globe and Mail newspaper in explaining that Chretien's duty was to the public, not his Church.
In June, an appeals court in Ontario ruled that Canada's definition of marriage as only between a man and a woman was unconstitutional, paving the way for legalized gay unions there.
The U.S. state of Vermont has a ``civil union'' law, giving same-sex couples the rights and responsibilities of traditional marriages, and the highest court in another state, Massachusetts, is weighing whether to legalize such unions.
In reaction, some Republican lawmakers in Washington are calling for a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriages nationwide, despite recent polls showing that opposition to gay marriage had diminished in recent years.
On Wednesday, U.S. President George W. Bush weighed in on the issue, telling a press conference that marriage was defined strictly as a union between a man and a woman and that he wants to ``codify that one way or the other.'' Government lawyers are exploring measures to enshrine it into law, the White House said.
Over the past two years, the Netherlands and Belgium extended marriages rights to all couples, no matter the partners' gender. Germany, France, Sweden and Denmark also have ``civil union'' laws.
In the Netherlands and Belgium, the proposals were backed by conservative Christian Democrat parties, which stressed Thursday that they respected the Vatican's viewpoint but had decided that its teaching on the issue wasn't appropriate.
``It's the Vatican's good right to make statements like this, but here in the Netherlands, we have separation of church and state,'' said Kathleen Ferrier, a spokeswoman for the largest Dutch conservative party, the Christian Democrats.
In Belgium, where three-quarters of the population is Roman Catholic, the Flemish Christian Democrats who voted in favor of the law said the issue boiled down to supporting all kinds of families.
``For us, what's important is sustained relationships,'' said Luk Vanmaercke, a party spokesman. ``We do not want to exclude gay couples from sustained relationships. On the contrary, we want to encourage them to take that responsibility too.''
WASHINGTON (July 31) - President Bush says Americans should respect homosexuals, but he wants to make sure marriage is defined strictly as a union between a man and a woman.
Government lawyers are exploring measures to enshrine that definition in the law, the president said Wednesday.
``I believe in the sanctity of marriage. I believe a marriage is between a man and a woman, and I think we ought to codify that one way or the other,'' he said.
Still, he urged Americans not to ostracize gays.
``I am mindful that we're all sinners, and I caution those who may try to take the speck out of the neighbor's eye when they got a log in their own,'' the president said, invoking a biblical passage from the Gospel of St. Matthew.
``I think it is very important for our society to respect each individual, to welcome those with good hearts, to be a welcoming country,'' Bush said.
His remarks offered a sop to conservatives who were angered earlier this month after he distanced himself from a House proposal for a constitutional ban on gay marriage.
Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo., was the main sponsor of a proposal to amend the Constitution to read: ``Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman.'' It was referred on June 25 to the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution.
Bush ran as a ``compassionate conservative'' in 2000, and is still trying to bridge the gap between his conservative base and critical swing voters. Some advisers fear any hint of intolerance will alienate middle-of-the-road Americans.
Recent polls have shown that just over half of Americans oppose gay marriage, though that opposition has been declining in recent years. A CBS-New York Times poll released Thursday found that 55 percent oppose gay marriage and 40 percent support it.
On the other hand, a Supreme Court decision last month that ended the criminalization of gay sex seems to have occasioned a backlash, with more Americans in a recent poll saying such relations should not be legal.
Bush's statement touched off passionate responses from groups with an interest in the issue.
``There is a real movement for same-sex marriage, and if the president doesn't intervene, and if he doesn't take leadership in this area, we could lose marriage in this country the way we know it,'' said Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the son of the Rev. Billy Graham. ``I think the president is doing the right thing.''
Gay-rights activists and a member of Congress took offense at Bush's comment that ``we're all sinners,'' interpreting the remark as reflecting on gays and lesbians.
``While we respect President Bush's religious views, it is unbecoming of the president of the United States to characterize same-sex couples as 'sinners,''' said Matt Foreman, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's executive director.
Rep. Janice Schakowsky, D-Ill., wrote Bush a letter charging that he ``seemed to equate homosexuality with sin,'' and demanding that the president apologize.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush had not meant to single out homosexuals as ``sinners.''
``The president doesn't believe in casting stones. He believes we ought to treat one another with dignity and respect,'' McClellan said.
The Human Rights Campaign, which says it is the nation's largest gay and lesbian political group, branded Bush's exploration of a law on gay marriage a ``call to codify discrimination.''
In 1996, President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal recognition of same-sex marriages and allowed states to ignore same-sex unions licensed elsewhere. Bush's aides have said they are studying ways to strengthen the law.
``We ask the president to explain to the American people why DOMA does not already meet the objective he set this morning,'' the Human Rights Campaign said.
The group also pointed to a statement by Vice President Dick Cheney that suggested he had a different view than Bush's.
Asked during an October 2000 debate whether homosexuals should have all the constitutional rights enjoyed by each American citizen, Cheney said: ``I don't think there should necessarily be a federal policy in this area.
``People should be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to enter into,'' said Cheney. ``It's really no one else's business, in terms of trying to regulate or prohibit behavior in that regard.''
Cheney's daughter Mary is a lesbian.
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