CNA Staff, Dec 9, 2020 / 16:48 pm
The Catholic bishops of Switzerland are voicing opposition to a legal measure that would legalize same-sex marriage in the country, calling the proposal “fraught with numerous administrative, legal and ethical difficulties.”
The Swiss senate on Dec. 1 passed a bill entitled “Marriage for All,” which had been debated in the Swiss parliament since its introduction by the Green Liberal Party of Switzerland in 2013. It would legalize same-sex marriage and pave the way for allowing same-sex couples to avail themselves of sperm donation, facilitated citizenship for partners, and co-adoption rights.
Switzerland has recognized civil unions for same-sex couples since 2007, following a 2005 referendum.
While affirming the importance of “equality in terms of civil rights and social benefits” for self-described LGBT people, the bishops noted that differentiation between civil unions and the institution of marriage does not amount to discrimination.
“[T]he Catholic Church is primarily entrusted with the sacrament of marriage. She celebrates before God the union of man and woman as a common, stable and reproductive life laid out in love,” the Swiss Bishops’ Conference said in a Dec. 4 statement.
“This is why [we are] convinced, also with regard to civil marriage, that the use of the term ‘marriage’ should not be extended to any connection between two people regardless of their gender. Such a use of the term would bring about an equality that, in [our] opinion, cannot exist.”
The “Marriage for All” bill will continue to be debated throughout the winter parliamentary session.
Among the reasons the bishops gave for opposing the measure is that same-sex couples would need to resort to reproductive medicine techniques such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy in order to have children, which are morally illicit.