.- The President of the Puerto Rican Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan, reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s opposition to a move that would make homosexual unions equal to marriage. The archbishop warned that such a move in Puerto Rico would obscure “the fundamental values that belong to the common and original patrimony of the human family.”
During a speech before the Puerto Rican Senate, which is debating a reform of the Civil Code, Archbishop Gonzalez explained that making the two equal would affect the moral fiber of society. He pointed out that while the Church does not reject homosexuals as persons, mankind cannot redefine nature as it is created by God.
“Some statutes of the Civil Code would do irreversible damage to the dignity of the human person and would constitute an attack upon the integrity of the Puerto Rican family,” he warned.
The archbishop made his comments during special hearings held by the Senate committee charged with reforming the Civil Code. Committee leaders Jorge De Castro Font and Liza Fernandez publicly stated their opposition to passing laws in support of any kind of consensual civil union, whether heterosexual or homosexual.
Senator Jose Emilio Gonzalez moved to eliminate the proposals for homosexual unions from the reforms under consideration, arguing that it was meaningless to debate something that was not going to be approved. However, the other members of the committee, including De Castro Font, voted to leave the proposals in place in order to allow other members to express their opinions on the issue.
The committee will be debating reforms of the Civil Code each Wednesday until the end of March.