In a message made public last Thursday, the Bishops’ Conference of Costa Rica explained that respect for the dignity of persons with homosexual inclinations cannot lead to the recognition of “rights” that attack the foundation of the family as the basic cell of society. The bishops asked lawmakers to reject a proposed law that would make gay unions equivalent to marriage.
The bishops warned that politicians “cannot and should not legislate against correct reasoning, because if they pass the law it would lose moral force.” They explained that “laws favorable to homosexual unions are contrary to correct reasoning because they confer legal guarantees proper to the institution of marriage to unions between people of the same sex. Considering the values in question, the State cannot legalize these unions without failing in its duty to promote and protect an essential institution for the common good, which marriage is.”
The bishops’ responded to those defending the “right” to gay marriage by stressing, “It is necessary above all to reflect on the differences between homosexual behavior as a private phenomenon and public behavior, legally tested, approved and converted into an institution of legal order. The second phenomenon is not only more grave but also of greater and deeper scope, as it could entail changes contrary to the common good of the entire social order.”
“Civil laws are structural principles of man’s life in society, for good or for evil.”
“From a logical constitutional perspective, it is impossible to homologate or make marriage equivalent to any other kind of arrangement that, with a mere change of vocabulary, seeks to have the same kind of legal standing,” the bishops said. “In light of the Church’s teaching on marriage and the family and, on the basis of Costa Rican law authentically interpreted by the Constitutional Court, it is unacceptable and incongruent to approve a measure that aims to transfer the entire legal structure of marriage to unions between homosexuals.”
Lastly, as shepherds of the Church, the bishops called on “Catholic lawmakers to speak out and vote against this measure, and to those who do not share our faith, to examine the arguments we have laid out. And in conformity with the rules of correct reasoning, of human nature and of life in society, not to cast their vote for a bill that clearly goes against the common good of the residents of our country.”