Bolivian bishops urge against passage of gay union law

The bishops of Bolivia told the country's lawmakers that the State has the duty to protect marriage between a man and a woman, urging them to not adopt a that a bill allowing same-sex unions.

In a statement issued May 23, the bishops warned that the bill is “a grave threat to the family” as it has been understood throughout Bolivian history and society. The proposed bill is currently in committee and no date has been set for it vote before the full congress.

In their remarks, the bishops noted that the country’s Constitution recognizes marriage as “only between one man and one woman.”

Marriage is defined by the fact that it is “a social institution based on sexual complimentarity.  This makes the fulfillment of the two equal ends of marriage possible: the mutual love between the spouses and the procreation of children.” 

In addition, they added, Christ raised it “to the level of a sacrament, as a sign of his love for the Church.”

Homosexual unions, on the other hand, are incapable of “generating life, ensuring the full development of children and ensuring the continuity of society,” the bishops said.

“Allowing children to live with such couples poses a danger to their normal psycho-social development and is an attack on their rights.”

The bishops also noted that the fact that same-sex relationships are not recognized as marriage does not equal discrimination.

“The civil rights of homosexuals should be regulated by common law, like those of any other citizen.  Every human being, as a child of God, deserves to be recognized and respected in his or her dignity and fundamental rights,” the bishops said.

They encouraged Bolivians to “defend the principles and values of marriage and the family as institutions” that bring “true human happiness and contribute to the stability and continuity of society.”

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