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Vatican envoy rebukes UN activism on 'gender ideology,' same-sex unions

March 09, 2012

A Vatican envoy has protested a UN report that promotes legal acceptance of same-sex marriage and calls for governmental action to eliminate discrimination against homosexuals.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s permanent observer at UN headquarters in Geneva, said that the Catholic Church opposes all unjust discrimination, and especially condemns violence against homosexuals. However he cautioned: “Such situations cannot be resolved by defining new categories, laws, or policies that posit rights and privileges to special groups in society.”

The archbishop said that it is “confusing and misleading” to suggest that sexual orientation as the basis for defining a group with special rights under the law. He argued that “efforts to particularize or to develop special rights for special groups of people could easily put at risk the universality of these rights.”

Archbishop Tomasi went on to complain about the use of the term “gender identity” in the UN report, saying that the term’s meaning is ambiguous at best, and pointing out that the UN has upheld the argument that “gender” refers only to the two sexes, male and female. He opposed the “gender ideology” that suggests a large range of malleable sexual identities.

The Vatican delegate said that governments have the right and duty to protect the institution of marriage. He staked out his opposition to any measure that would entail “demeaning the sacred and time-honored legal institution of marriage between man and woman, between husband and wife, which enjoyed special protection from time immemorial.”


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