By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

PILAR, Argentina, April 21, 2010 ( – The Catholic bishops of Argentina have issued a clear denunciation of homosexual unions as legislation advances in the national congress to institute gay “marriage.”

Meeting in the city of Pilar, Buenos Aires, the Argentinean Episcopal Conference has declared that “the union of people of the same sex lacks the biological and anthropological elements that are proper to marriage and family,” noting that “the conjugal dimension and the openness to the transmission of life” are lacking in such unions.

“If a legal recognition were to be given to a the union between people of the same sex, or it is put on a juridical plane analogous to that of marriage and the family, the government would act erroneously and would enter into a contradiction with its own obligations by altering the principles of the natural law and of the public ordering of Argentine society,” the bishops add.

The statement also denies the charge of “discrimination,” so often leveled at the opponents of homosexual unions. “The recognition of a real difference is not discrimination,” the bishops write. “Nature doesn’t discriminate when it makes us a man or a woman. Our Civil Code does not discriminate when it demands the requirement of being a man and a woman to contract marriage; it only recognizes a natural reality.”

The statement has been issued as homosexual “marriage” legislation passes from committee to the full floor of the national Chamber of Deputies. The bill would eliminate references to “husband” and “wife” in favor of “contrayentes” (contracting parties). The Spanish news agency EFE says that the debate may begin as early as next week.

In addition, several administrative judges in Buenos Aires have recently approved the registration of homosexual “marriages” in that city, despite the fact that they explicitly contradict the nation’s civil code, which recognizes that only a man and a woman can enter into a marriage. However, the rulings are being contested, and some have already been overturned or suspended by national judges, who have the final jurisdiction in such cases.

Related Links:

On the Unalterable Good of Marriage and the Family, Argentinean Episcopal Conference, April 10, 2010 (Spanish)

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Battle of the Judges Continues in Argentina over Gay ‘Marriage’

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Argentina Judge Orders Halt to Nation’s First Gay “Marriage” On Eve of Ceremony