The Bishops’ Conference of Portugal has reaffirmed its rejection of the government’s attempts to make homosexual unions equal to traditional marriage after Socialist Prime Minister Jose Socrates Carvalho Pinto de Sousa promised he would support gay unions if re-elected.
In a statement issued during the meeting at Fatima, the bishops’ executive committee said the family, founded upon marriage between a man and woman, merits unique and exclusive recognition and should not be confused with other types of unions.
The bishops explained that any law that allows homosexual unions and gives them the right to adopt children "would constitute a grave change to the anthropological basis of the family and of all society, endangering its balance."
After pointing out the "complementarity of the sexes," the bishops warned that "alternative models" of marriage and the family "would represent a source of confusion for teens and young people."
"These positions are accepted by diverse cultures and civilizations, by the Judeo-Christian revelation and thus recognized implicitly by our Constitution and explicitly by the Civil Code."
The bishops went on to explain that while "homosexuality denotes the existence of personal identity problems," at the same time "the Church rejects every form of discrimination or marginalization of homosexual persons and she asks that they be treated with kindness and assisted in overcoming their difficulties, which in many cases cause great suffering."
The bishops also said, "Faithful to reason, the Word of God and the teachings she has received," the Church "considers that human sexuality lived out in marriage finds its truth and fullness in the loving union of a man and a woman."