The Bishops’ Conference of Ecuador presented on Wednesday the signatures of 636,417 people—5% of the country’s population—supporting efforts to protect the family and human life in the Constitutional Assembly that is drafting a new constitution for the country.
Archbishop Antonio Arregui Yarza of Guayaquil gave a letter from the bishops and the signatures to Alberto Acosta, the president of the Assembly.
In their letter, the bishops note that on April 1, representatives of the bishops’ conference met with Acosta to discuss the need to “recognize the right to life from conception to natural death, to recognize and protect the family made up of a man and a woman, to guarantee the rights of families especially in the education of their children according to their own convictions.”
The letter reiterates “the inappropriateness of putting forth a special law for same-sex unions”, since any legal situations they might encounter “are protected by common law.”
“Mr. President, we present to you the 636,417 signatures of Ecuadorians who support our requests and with the number increasing every day. People throughout the country have signed their names freely and with full knowledge, with no cost whatsoever,” the bishops said. “We hope to be heard and recognized in the new constitutional text,” they added. “Some have protested against mentioning the name of God in the preamble, but doing so is fully compatible with a healthy secularism of the State. Secularism is not atheism,” the bishops stressed.
They also expressed their concern over the approval of clauses that would guarantee the “right” to sex changes, the right “to have children whenever one wants,” and the lack of protection for human life, with no mention of when human life begins and ends.
This would “leave the door open for legalizing abortion,” the bishops said. They urged the Constitutional Assembly to take into account “the convictions and sensibilities of hundreds of thousands of signers.”