Church says Government proposals would amount to gay marriage
The Roman Catholic Church has said that the Governmentís proposals to give legal recognition to same-sex couples were ìtantamount to civil marriageî and would undermine the institution of marriage.
The Catholic bishops of England and Wales argue that the new partnership laws will promote same-sex couples as parents by giving them a status equivalent to marriage, reports the Times.
In their submission to the Government, they caution: ìIt is wrong to embark on a policy whose probable long-term outcome will be that more children are deliberately brought into this world only to be deprived of having both a father and a mother.î
They say the law has changed to remove discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation and that the new proposals are not necessary.
Marriage and family life are ìthe foundation blocks of society and must not be underminedî, they say. ìMarriage would be undermined because it would no longer hold a privileged place.
ìThe signal the law would send to rising generations is that marriage as husband and wife, and a same-sex relationship, are equally valid options, and an equally valid context for the upbringing of children.
ìBy publicly elevating same-sex relationships to a legal status virtually equivalent to marriage, the signal given to society would be that these two states of life are equally deserving of public protection and respect, when in fact they are not.î
The Right Rev John Hine, Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark and chairman of the committee for marriage and family life, said: ìOur response gives our reasons for believing that the Governmentís proposals would not promote the common good in the long run.
ìOur conclusion is that the Governmentís proposals for the legal recognition of same-sex couples are not needed to defend fundamental human rights, and that they would in the long term undermine marriage and the family.î