Friday January 8, 2010
Portugal’s Parliament Gives Preliminary Approval to “Gay Marriage” while Cardinal Fiddles
Bill now passes to committee for review before final vote
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
LISBON, January 8, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Portuguese Parliament has given an initial approval to a bill that will institutionalize “homosexual marriage” after encountering little resistance from the nation’s Catholic bishops and the country’s “right-wing” Social Democratic Party (PSD).
The text of the legislation denies that homosexual couples will be permitted to adopt children.
The Parliament also voted to deny a petition by over 90,000 Portuguese for a national referendum on the topic. The referendum has been advocated by pro-family groups and would likely yield a negative result for “homosexual marriage,” given that a plurality 49% of Portuguese oppose the idea.
The populist opposition to the socialists, the Social Democrats, offered only weak opposition to the bill, proposing alternative civil union legislation for homosexuals that did not use the term “marriage”.
The overwhelming pro-gay vote followed reports in the Portuguese media that the Cardinal Archbishop of Lisbon, Jose Policarpo, had made a “pact of silence” with the government.
The cardinal, who openly supports legal privileges for same-sex couples in conflict with Vatican teaching, is also a close confidant of Portugal’s socialist prime minister, Jose Socrates.
Although Policarpo has clearly stated his opposition to “homosexual marriage,” he has spoken little about in the weeks leading up to the vote, even refusing to respond to reporters’ attempts to elicit his opinion about the legislation.
Days before the vote, Policarpo stated publicly that he had instructed parishes not to participate in the petition drive for a national referendum on the issue, further weakening the opposition to the bill.
CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS
Piazza Pio XII 10
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:
Piazza del S. Uffizio,
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