Lawmakers in Uruguay passed a measure last week that would allow homosexual couples to adopt children, despite the strong opposition from the Catholic Church, voiced recently by Archbishop Nicolas Cotugno of Montevideo and other community leaders.
The measure passed by a vote of 53-40 and was a modified version of the bill approved by the Uruguayan Senate on July 15. Now it must be sent back to the Senate for debate.
In response to the bill’s passage, which comes two years after the country legalized gay unions, the spokesman for the group National Coordinator for Life, Nestor Martinez, called it a “step backwards and an attack on the rights of children” and said it would lay the groundwork for a “negative future for the Uruguayan society.”
Earlier this month, Archbishop Nicolas Cotugno warned in a strongly-worded statement that the measure backed by a left-wing coalition would have grave consequences for society, especially for children.
“The issue of the adoption of children by homosexual couples is not a question of religion, philosophy or sociology. It is essentially a question of respect for human nature itself,” the archbishop said in a statement. “To accept the adoption of children by homosexual couples is to go against human nature itself, and consequently, it is to go against the fundamental rights of the human being as a person,” he warned.
While he expressed the “utmost respect” for homosexuals as persons, Archbishop Cotugno said, “Those who freely chose a life of homosexual relations have assumed a life style that is unconnected to procreation and to the ability to be parents. If you reject the cause you cannot lay claim its natural effect.”
“Nevertheless,” he added, “to accept adoption by homosexual couples would be to grant those who opted for the life style of not being parents the right to be such, thus prioritizing their interests over those of the child. And this is inadmissible from every point of view.”