Italy Under Pressure from Pro-Abortion, Gay Civil ‘Marriage’ Demonstrations

By Gudrun Schultz

ROME, Italy, January 16, 2006 ( – In an effort to further entrench anti-life policies in Italy, demonstrators gathered in Rome January 14 to push for legal recognition of gay civil unions, while in Milan a large demonstration expressed opposition towards any change to Italy’s liberal abortion laws.

Saturday’s rallies were triggered by the country’s election campaigns—Italian bishops have made abortion an election issue for the first time since 1981. On Thursday Pope Benedict XVI spoke out against forces threatening the family, in an address to politicians.

“It is a grave error to obscure the value and the functions of the legitimate family based on marriage, attributing to other forms of union inappropriate forms of legal recognition, for which there is no real social need.”

L’Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper, condemned the civil marriage rally as a “provocation,” an attempt to push the gay agenda under cover of general marriage rights. Advocates of a civil-union proposal for Italy are pushing for legal recognition of unmarried couples, both homosexual and heterosexual.

A front-page essay by Francesco D’Agostino, the president of the Union of Italian Catholic Jurists, said that civil union advocates have failed to produce any serious arguments in favor of their proposal, relying instead on slogan, invective, and the claim that their quest is “a struggle for the civil rights of those oppressed by religious obscurantism.”

Arguing that a frank exchange of ideas “is always welcome in a democratic society,” the article said that the real intent of proponents—which is never disclosed—is “the legal recognition of homosexual couples.” Thus the rhetoric in support of civil unions conceals a plan “to alter, in a coarse and radical way, the structure of heterosexual marriage that has been known by every culture known to history.” D’Agostino concludes, “The family must be defended.” In that defense there is no need to rely on theological or religious arguments, the essay continues; “common human arguments are sufficient.” (

Condemning the rallies, Culture Minister Rocco Buttiglione, who is close to the Vatican, said people should spend their energy on pro-family efforts such as finding jobs and housing.

“These are the political problems you should put the spotlight on,” Buttiglione said to the Associated Press. “Because without children, Italy dies.”

Pope: “Legitimate Family” Must not be Obscured by Legal Recognition of Other Forms


FREE pro-life and pro-family news.

Stay up-to-date on the issues you care about the most. Sign up today!

Select Your Edition:

You can make a difference!

Can you donate today?

Share this article