Amidst debate in the Ecuadorian Constitutional Assembly over a proposal to grant homosexuals the right to “marry” and adopt children, the president of the Ecuadorian Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Antonio Arregui Yarza, called the proposal legally unnecessary and said its only effect would be to destroy the family as the basic unit of society.
In a letter to the faithful of the country which was read in all parishes, Archbishop Arregui said the Church decided to speak out because it is her duty “to promote and protect the dignity of the human person in light of the Gospel and right reason.”
“During the debates on the new Constitution, and even before, certain proposals have been made that would make same-sex unions equivalent to marriage and the family,” he said. The bishops of Ecuador “have put forth a common teaching in the sense that we cannot speak of marriage and family with respect to unions formed by homosexuals,” the archbishop explained.
“On the other hand,” he continued, “Christian morality considers homosexual practice to be a grave moral disorder incompatible with the life of faith, because it contradicts natural law and the commandments of God’s law. This moral conclusion, at the same time, proclaims the respect we must have for others, for every human person and his free choices. It does not establish unjust discrimination. The Church embraces men and women with homosexual tendencies with respect, understanding and sensitivity,” the archbishop stated.
However, he stressed, when it comes to legislation, “no law can seek to make these relationships and unions equivalent to the treasure of marriage and the family.” He argued that there is no need to create special laws to address legal questions related to long-term relationships between homosexuals and that such questions can be resolved under existing law.