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Ecuador’s Proposed Constitution Would “Establish Penalties” for Groups that “Promote Homophobia”

LifeSiteNews.com

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

QUITO, Ecudor, June 19, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Ecuador’s Constitutent Assembly, which is in the process of creating a new constitution for the South American nation, is embroiled in a debate over language designed to protect the unborn. There is also an ongoing discussion about language in the constitution that would give "rights" based on "sexual orientation" and so-called "gender identity."

The majority party, Alianza PAIS, has agreed to maintain the existing constitution’s affirmation of the "inviolability of life".  However, it is resisting efforts to add the phrase "from conception to natural death".  Official debate over the proposed language began yesterday, according to local media reports.

In addition, the Assembly’s Fundamental Human Rights Committee has approved language upholding "reproductive rights," a euphemism used by international pro-abortion groups to denote a medley of "rights", including the "right" to an abortion.

"All have the right to make free, responsible, and informed decisions regarding their reproductive health and life and to decide when and how many children to have and how often to have them," says proposed Article 10 for the document’s "Civil Rights" section.  No age limit is mentioned.

Former PAIS member Rosanna Queirolo, who waged a successful campaign earlier this year to protect the Constitution’s "inviolability of life" guarantee before leaving the party in protest (http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/apr/08040110.html), is concerned that the article will be used to allow abortions, and particularly to permit minors to obtain abortions without their parents’ permission.

"In the texts that the Fundamental Human Rights group approved it doesn’t even say the age at which women can have an abortion," said Queirolo. "That means that tomorrow girls are going to go to doctors to interrupt their pregnancies, without permission from their parents and the doctors will be obligated to tend to them because the Constitution says so."

"What is being done is they’re disguising it and leaving a door open to abortion," Assemblywoman Anabella Azín told the newspaper Telegrafo.

Queirolo also objects to language that acknowledges "rights" based on "sexual orientation" and "gender identity", which she says will promote promiscuity.  The term "gender identity" refers to the gender claimed by an individual, as opposed to his or her actual physical gender.

Proposed Article 9 states, "Every person has the right to make free, informed, and responsible decisions regarding his sexuality and sexual life, including sexual and gender identity, and sexual orientation."

The same text denies groups the right to organize in opposition to such "rights".  Proposed Article 13 reads in part that "the law will establish penalties for groups that associate or meet for the purpose of…promoting practices of…homophobia, segregation, discrimination, or any other idea that goes against the rights recognized in this Constitution."

Such restrictions are specifically applied to religious groups in proposed Article 8, which restricts the exercise of religion if it conflicts with "the rights established in this constitution" as well as international "human rights" treaties.

Political commentator Santiago Pérez, a proponent of the new constitution, acknowledged recently in the Ecuadorian newspaper El Universo that the conflict over abortion and homosexual "rights" could sink the document, which must be approved in a nationwide plebiscite after completion by the specially elected Constituent Assembly.

In order to persuade Ecuadorians, who are overwhelmingly Catholic and inclined towards traditional family values, Pérez recognizes that the debate "must cease to be a fight among those who are for and those who are against (President) Correa, abortion, gays, etc.".

Related Links:

Proposed "Civil Rights" Articles Approved by the Fundamental Human Rights Committee (Spanish)
http://asambleaconstituyente.gov.ec/blogs/mesa_1/2008/05/07/articulos-aprobados-para-primer-debate/

Current Constitution of Ecuador
http://www.ecuanex.net.ec/constitucion/indice.html

Previous LifeSiteNews Coverage:

Ecuadorian Obstetricians and Gynecologists Issue Thundering Manifesto Against Abortion
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jun/08061715.html

Famous Model and TV Announcer Wins Battle to Protect Life and Family Values in Ecuadoran Constitution
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/apr/08040110.html

Ecuador Churches Submit 100,000 Signatures to Prevent Constitutional Recognition of Abortion
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/mar/08032704.html

Ecuador’s President and Ruling Party to Seeks to Exclude Mention of God in New Constitution
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/mar/08033101.html

Ecuadorans Battle Over Abortion in their New Constitution
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/aug/07082912.html

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