Argentina: Catholics, Mormons Oppose Marriage Equality

The path to marriage equality in Argentina resumes this week, with the Senate due to vote Wednesday on the bill that will introduce both gay marriage and gay adoption. An early clue to which they will go, will come on Tuesday when a subcommittee reveals its recommendation. I would have though that it was now a little late to still be trying to influence the decision (senators have now completed a tour of the country to take soundings of the views in rural areas and secondary cities), but the Mormons churches are determined to continue fighting against marriage to the end.

Argentina Considers Gay Marriage Bill

With Argentinean lawmakers considering legislation that would expand the nation’s definition of civil marriage to include gay and lesbian couples, the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent a letter to be read in every Mormon congregation in Argentina yesterday, restating the Church’s doctrinal view that “marriage is between a man and a woman and is ordained of God.”

Evangelical and Catholic Church leaders have called for nationwide protests on July 13, the day before the bill is to be debated in Argentina’s senate.

For their part, LDS Church leaders are asking Argentina’s 370,000 Mormons to review the Proclamation on the Family, a 1995 doctrinal statement on gender and family issues.

The letter reportedly does not take an official position on the legislation or ask members to donate of their time and means, as did a similar letter read to California Mormon congregations in June 2008 at the beginning of the Proposition 8 campaign. Although billed as one element of a faith-based “Yes on 8” coalition, Mormon participation in the 2008 campaign has been viewed as decisive in the passage of the state’s same-sex marriage ban. About 750,000 Mormons live in California.

The letter being read today in Argentina marks strong continuities in the Church’s articulation of its doctrines worldwide, while marking some departures in the way Church members in different regions of the globe are asked to implement their faith in the political process. More than half of the 13 million members of the Mormon Church live outside the United States.

And from Lifesite News:

BUENOS AIRES, July 9, 2010 ( – Argentina’s number one Catholic prelate, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, is calling upon the priests of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires to bring their flocks to an upcoming protest against homosexual “marriage,” which is currently under consideration by the nation’s senate.

“Let’s not be naive, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God,” writes Bergoglio in a letter sent to the monasteries of Buenos Aires, where he is archbishop. “We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

To the clergy of the parishes, Bergoglio requests that all of them read from the pulpits a declaration defending the true definition and understanding of marriage.

“The Argentinean people will have to confront, in the coming weeks, a situation whose result could gravely injure the family.  We are speaking of a bill regarding marriage between people of the same sex,” a bill that calls into question “the identity, and the survival of the family: father, mother, and children.”  The latter, warns Bergoglio, might also be threatened by homosexual adoption, which would be a true form of discrimination.

The country now needs “the special assistance of the Holy Spirit, to place the light of truth in the middle of the darkness of error, to defend us against the enchantment of so many sophistries with which they seek to justify this bill,” he writes.

In addition to the initiative currently underway in the national Congress, homosexual activists, in league with liberal judges, have registered eight “marriages” in Argentina in recent months, although their actions are under review by higher courts.  The national civil code, in agreement with dictionaries around the world, understands “marriage” to be a union between a man and a woman.

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