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Vatican – July 31, 2003
1. Various of St. Peter’s square
2. Various of Vatican document
3. Set up Franco Grillini
4. SOUNDBITE (Italian) Franco Grillini, Centre-left member of parliament and gay rights activist:
“This document represents an escalation of homophobia and anti-homosexual prejudice of the Italian Roman Catholic Church. Homosexual couples want their rights to be recognised also in Italy, especially the right to live together and inheritance rights.”
5. Various of Italian Radical Party demonstrators in front of Vatican
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Daniele Capezzoni, protester:
“We are Italian citizens, not Vatican citizens, and we don’t want the Vatican to make pressure on our parliament.”
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Father John Wauck, Opus Dei Priest:
“I would say there’s nothing homophobic about insisting on the difference between two relationships. One can recognise a certain value in the relationship, call it friendship, call it whatever you like, between two men and admit
there’s a certain importance to that relationship, certainly for them. But, to say that that relationship is the same, or the same level as the relationship, which by very nature brings new human beings into the world, new members of the human family, new citizens in society, is, I think, to put it bluntly, ridiculous. They’re very different relationships and to insist on those differences is not homophobic in any way.”
Rome – October, 2002
8. Gay wedding held at French embassy in Rome
The Vatican launched a global campaign against gay marriages on Thursday, warning Catholic politicians that support of same-sex unions was “gravely immoral” and urging non-Catholics to join the offensive.
The Vatican’s orthodoxy watchdog, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued a 12-page set of guidelines with the approval of Pope John Paul II in a bid to stem the increase in laws granting legal rights to homosexual unions in Europe and North America.
“There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family,” the document said.
“Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law.”
The Vatican document, “Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons”, sets out a battle plan for politicians when confronted with laws or proposed legislation giving
homosexual couples the same rights as married heterosexuals.
It also comes out strongly against allowing gay couples to adopt, saying children raised by same-sex parents face developmental “obstacles” because they are deprived of having either a mother or a father.
The document says Catholic politicians have a “moral duty” to publicly oppose laws granting recognition to homosexual unions and to vote against them if proposals are put to a vote in legislatures.
The Vatican said its guidelines were not only intended for Catholic lawmakers but for non-Christians and everyone “committed to promoting and defending the common good of society” since the issue concerned natural moral law, not just Church doctrine.
The document doesn’t contain any new Church teachings on the issue, repeating much of the Vatican’s previous comments on homosexuality and marriage, which it defines as a sacred union between man and woman designed
to create new human life.
It said homosexuals shouldn’t be discriminated against, but said denying gay couples the rights afforded in traditional marriages doesn’t constitute discrimination.
On Thursday, a small group of demonstrators from Italy’s Radical Party held up banners at the edge of St. Peter’s Square to protest the document.
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