San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Catholic Church Reiterates Gay Unions “Improper”

Costa Rica’s Catholic Church is speaking out against a bill presented in the Legislative Assembly last week that would allow gay couples to enter into civil unions, calling the measure “improper.”

The law is “totally inappropriate from the point of view of natural right, constitutional rights and, in our point of view as believers, divine right,” said a statement posted on the Web site of the Episcopal Conference, an organization comprising the country’s Catholic bishops.

“If this law is passed, it would be an evil for society, a mortal wound to the institution of marriage and the family and a distortion of God’s plan,” the statement said.

The Church said that although gays are “people created by God” who have an “inalienable dignity… the fact that they have homosexual inclinations does not legitimize the union of people of the same sex.”

A group of lawmakers including Ana Helena Chacón of the Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC) and José Merino of the Broad Front submitted the bill last week with the backing of the Diversity Movement, a national gay-rights group. It would give gay people in civil unions the rights heterosexual couples in such unions enjoy, such as a share of assets after a partner’s death or the right to Social Security System (Caja) benefits through a partner (TT, June 22).

In its statement, the Catholic Church urged legislators to not pass the law and to “preserve the guardianship and the promotion of the family founded in monogamous marriage between people of the opposite sex and protect their unity and stability.”


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