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Maike Hickson

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Bavaria drops challenge to legalization of gay ‘marriage’ citing comparable changes in Church

Maike Hickson

MUNICH, March 15, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) -- The traditionally Catholic German state of Bavaria has decided to drop its plan to challenge a June 2017 parliamentary decision to legalize same-sex “marriages” nationwide. The decision comes after two legal opinions were written for Bavaria pointing out that many countries in the world have legalized same-sex “marriage.” The Bavarian State Chancellor, in his white paper for the March 6th cabinet meeting refers to the fact that even representatives of the Catholic Church are now in the process of “carefully opening themselves up to a change.”

On March 6th, the Government of Bavaria decided to drop the plan to approach the Federal Constitutional Court to challenge the recent legalization of same-sex “marriage.” The Government of Bavaria had ordered, at the cost of 40,000 euro, two legal opinions on the constitutionality of same-sex “marriage.” Both expert reports came to the conclusion that they were not unconstitutional.

According to the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the handout for the 6 March cabinet meeting, as prepared by Bavarian State Chancellor Marcel Huber (CSU) claims that the “chances for success” of such a constitutional challenge are “low.” The legislature, Huber writes, has “not stepped over the limits of his legal competences.”

Because of the changes in society, the paper argues, heterosexuality is not any more an “exclusive structural marker of marriage.” That such a change has taken place, he argues, can also be seen in the fact that other states have now already introduced same-sex “marriages” and that other Constitutional Courts have likewise approved of them. “Additionally, the topic is said to have lost its explosive nature. Even representatives of the Catholic Church are 'in the process of carefully opening themselves up to a change.'”

In recent news in Germany, both the President and the Vice President of the German Bishops' Conference have come out in favor of a more approving attitude toward homosexual relationships, which went so far as to propose a special blessing for them. A special commission of the German Bishops' Conference is currently taking a further look into such liturgical blessings.

On 30 June, 2017, the German parliament voted in favor of the legalization of same-sex “marriage.” Since October 1st, same-sex couples could “marry” in Germany, have the same status as heterosexual married couples, and they may now adopt children. The new law was voted into existence after the Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, dropped her own fundamental resistance against it and told her party members to vote according to their consciences, even though she herself still personally voted against the new law. 393 of 623 members of parliament voted subsequently in favor of same-sex “marriages.” 70 members of Merkel's own Christian Democratic Party were among them. Subsequently, the upper house of the German Parliament also approved of the new legislation.

Bavaria, the largest German state, it seems has now also given up its resistance. According to a report of the German newspaper Die Süddeutsche, however, the recent March 6th discussion at the Bavarian cabinet meeting was controversial, and the decision to let go of the resistance against the new national law on same-sex “marriage” was not made unanimously. Some of the members of the cabinet referred to changes in society, while others pointed to the conservative voters of the Christian Social Union (CSU) – the leading political party in Bavaria – who are still opposed to same-sex “marriages.”

Mathias von Gersdorff, the German pro-life activist and author, comments on his blog on this recent decision coming out of Bavaria, calling it a “capitulation.” He points out that even Cardinal Reinhard Marx – “who belongs to the most liberal camp of the Catholic Church” – had “criticized 'marriage for all' and demanded a Constitutional Challenge” with regard to this new same-sex 'marriage' legislation.

Von Gersdorff points out that today, one can change the definition of marriage without being seriously challenged by the CSU: “Without a battle, the C-party [Christian party] from Bavaria hands over to the Green Party the authority to define marriage and the family.” This constitutes, in his eyes, “one of the last episodes of a longer list of capitulations in the face of a leftist-green social policy.” It was the Green Party, explains the German journalist, which “prominently steered, over the last decades, the anti-marriage revolution according to the spirit of 1968 [the cultural revolution of the 1960s].”

LifeSiteNews reached out to Dr. Markus Büning, a German lawyer, author and Catholic theologian, who raised his voice against the proposals to bless homosexual couples within the Catholic Church. “It might well be that such a Constitutional Challenge would not have success,” he said. “However,” he added, “such a consideration is not convincing in the case of a party which carries the 'c' [for “Christian”] around like a monstrance in order to attract Christian voters. If not the 'C'SU – who else?”

In Büning's eyes, the “C”-party abandons with this case the chance “to clearly defend the Christian values concerning marriage and the family.” He recommends Bavarian voters stop supporting a party “which ducks away in a decisive hour.” The German theologian concludes with the words “Obviously, Christians whose views are based on Sacred Scripture and the Catechism do not have a political home any more in Germany. The whole thing can’t get any more sad. What will the President of the Bavarian Bishops' Conference [Cardinal Reinhard Marx] say now?”

Another Catholic observer who wished to remain anonymous notes that it is no surprise that Christian parties in the West are giving up defending the traditional concept of marriage at a time when even the Catholic Church's teaching on marriage and the family itself becomes increasingly equivocal and confusing.

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