By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

  MADRID, November 3, 2008 ( – The Queen of Spain, Doña Sofia Margarita Victoria Frederica, has made headlines in her country by denouncing abortion, euthanasia, and “gay marriage” in a recent book.

  The book, “The Queen Up Close,” which consists of interviews with Doña Sofia, quotes her as saying that she is “absolutely” against abortion.

“It is necessary to respect every living child, every child that has begun to live,” the book quotes her as saying.  “And to be in favor of life is not backward, nor is it something confined to Christianity.  It is to follow the natural law.”

  Despite strong moral objections to the practice and the dilemma of an aging population increasingly supplemented by immigrants, Spain has one of the most liberal abortion laws in Europe, and its socialist government is seeking to loosen restrictions even further.

  The Queen also said that she is not a supporter of euthanasia, and added that “life and death are not in our hands.  Death with dignity?  I’m completely in agreement.  Those who are in agony should be in better conditions, these are their final moments.  For humanity’s sake, they should have the pain taken away, and for that there are sedatives, palliatives.”

“I don’t think that any doctor, any nurse, any health worker, should be willing to kill someone, even if it is requested or it is required by the hospital,” she added.

  Regarding assisted suicide, the Queen remarked that “they shouldn’t disguise it as ‘the right to die’ or ‘free death’ or ‘death with dignity’ or ‘being tired of life’: it’s cowardice.”

  However, what caused the biggest stir was the Queen’s negative remarks about homosexual “marriage,” which has been legal in Spain since 2005.

“If those people want to live together, dress up as grooms and enter into a union, it might be in their right, but they shouldn’t call it matrimony, because it isn’t,” she said.

  Homosexual groups, incensed over the remarks, quickly responded.

  Antonio Poveda, the President of the State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals, said that the Queen “has every right to freedom of expression, but she should leave her prejudices, her morality, and her religion to the side because she represents all Spaniards.  It seems to us to be institutional homophobia.”

  In reaction to the controversy, the Royal Household issued a statement claiming that the quotes had been taken out of context and were derived in part from private conversations that were not understood as part of the interview.

  The Queen, according to the communiqué, “profoundly regrets that the inexactness of the words that are attributed to her have produced discomfort or displeasure in people or institutions, to which she professes and always has professed a profound respect.”

  However the author of the book, veteran journalist Pilar Urbano, has defended her work, claiming that it is completely accurate and was even vetted and approved by the Royal House before publication.

“We can understand all of the prudence that surrounds the Royal House, but there is a very powerful lobby in this country, which is the gay lobby,” said Urbano in a radio interview.