Spanish Clergyman Investigated for Encouraging Heterosexual Child Development
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
SANTIAGO, January 3, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Spanish clergyman is being investigated by the government of the province of Galicia for counseling parents to encourage masculinity in their sons to help them avoid homosexuality.
Marcos Zapata, a protestant minister and president of the Dignity Association, was giving a seminar for the Evangelical Council of Aragon when he made the comments, at a talk titled "How to Raise Heterosexual Children."
Zapata reportedly stated that he reinforces his sons’ masculinity by watching professional wrestling with them and advised his audience to show affection to their children. He told fathers to "hug your sons as much as you can, because if you don’t, perhaps another man will".
The Galician Vice President of Equality and Welfare responded to the reported remarks by announcing that he was initiating an investigation into Zapata’s activities to discover "any type of proselytism or homophobic attitude" in his work with minors. Zapata’s Dignity organization works in the province’s schools to combat drug addiction and other social ills.
Homosexual groups have responded by threatening to sue Zapata. "After so many legal victories in this country, and for the first time people are talking openly about homosexuality in schools, we have to deal with fundamentalist groups which take us back to the Franco dictatorship," the president of the National Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals told The Guardian, a British newspaper. "Of course," he added, "we are going to try to stop this from happening."
The fierce outcry against Zapata belies his very tame views about homosexual behavior. Although sodomy is clearly condemned in the Bible, which is regarded as sacred and inerrant by traditional protestants, Zapata speaks about it in the most delicate terms. "The gospel hasn’t destroyed the life of homosexuals, it has made it as sin to assume a sexual condition that is not in the perfect will of God," he writes in an internet article. "I reiterate that the church should be a community that offers its embrace and its love to the homosexual person. The Gospel is something that heals and restores."
When interviewed by local Galician media, Zapata retreated further, denying that he sought to heal homosexuals of their condition. "I speak in schools in the nation’s schools on the prevention of drug addiction, youth violence, or, if they request it, also about sexual orientation, but of course I don’t dedicate myself to curing homosexuality because it isn’t an illness," he said. "I participated in that seminar because they asked me and the title refers to the formation of sexual identity of children, and in this there is a genetic aspect and an environmental aspect over which we do have an influence."
David Rego, the Secretary of the Evangelical Council of Galicia, noted in a separate interview that people "are not born homosexual, but it is a personal decision that is made for various reasons" and stated that "there is no doubt" that homosexuality "is today being promoted by various means."
Under successive socialist regimes, the Spanish government has created a body of "civil rights" legislation promoting homosexuality, including a recent law creating "homosexual marriage" and a program of pro-homosexual indoctrination in the nation’s schools. Concern about the future of the Spanish family seems to be growing; between one and two million people recently attended a rally in the Spanish capital of Madrid opposing the government’s anti-family policies (see LifeSiteNews coverage at http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jan/08010303.html).