By Terry Vanderheyden

RIGA, December 2, 2005 ( – An overwhelming majority of Latvian legislators confirmed a proposal to enshrine the traditional definition of marriage in the country’s constitution yesterday.

Seventy-three of the 100-member parliament ratified the measure; a two-thirds majority is necessary to effect a change to the country’s constitution. Although same-sex “marriage” is already prohibited by law in Latvia, a change to the constitution assures the law will be less likely to be amended by an activist court – a real worry in light of events in Canada and the US.

The constitutional amendment proposition came after an activist court ruled in July that a banned Riga gay-pride parade could go forward. Pressured by the government and Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis, Riga reversed an earlier decision to allow the parade. The day before the parade, Riga District Administrative Court ruled the ban illegal.

Approximately 50 homosexual-rights activists showed up for the march; the small contingent was dwarfed by thousands of protestors. Following the parade, the combined efforts of members from the Lutheran and Catholic churches urged the constitutional amendment, supported by the Prime Minister’s First Party of Latvia.

Latvian Cardinal Janis Pujats warned in August that homosexual militancy is more dangerous than the militancy experienced by the war-torn country in Soviet times. “In Soviet times we faced atheism, which oppressed religion; now we have an era of sexual atheism,” he said. “This form of atheism is even more infectious and dangerous, spiritual values disappear in a swamp of sexual irregularity.”

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