The Archdiocese of Milan’s spokesperson on family issues has compared the city’s plan to establish a registry of civil unions, which would include same-gender couples, to promoting polygamy.
According to London’s Independent newspaper, Alfonso Colzani, archdiocesan official, said:
” ‘”There’s the risk that giving equal status to families based on marriage with those founded on civil unions will legitimise polygamy.’
“This was, he said, because people in civil partnerships would be freer to have sexual relations with other people.
“He added: Introducing ‘a communal register of civil unions is an ineffective initiative – and maybe only a PR exercise. Instead it is the family that needs support in this time of hardship. The concept of marriage is a precise one and not to be confused with homosexual unions.’
“The Milan diocese, Italy’s biggest and richest, is headed by Cardinal Angelo Scola, who has strong links with Communion and Liberation, the ultra-conservative catholic political lobbying group. Cardinal Scola was selected for the post of Milan’s archbishop last year by Pope Benedict.”
The initiative to register civil unions came from Milan’s mayor, Giuliano Pisapia, who wants to extend protections to heterosexual and same-gender couples:
“Although largely symbolic, Mr Pisapia said that his plan would provide some additional legal rights for cohabiting couples who were unable to marry.
” ‘The establishment of a register of civil unions is aimed at recognising and protecting the rights of many couples in Milan and the rest of the country, couples that have been waiting too long for legal recognition,’ he said.
“Mr Pisapia noted the key ruling earlier this year by the Supreme Court of Cassation that said same-sex couples had a ‘right to a family life’ – and by implication, the same benefits and rights as straight couples.”
Italy’s LGBT civil rights organization, Arcigay, was quick to repudiate the Milan archdiocese’s polygamy assertion:
“In a statement, Arcigay said opposition to simple civil unions shown by the church, right-wing newspapers and politicians across the political spectrum ‘showed an incredible concentration of homophobia and prejudice.’ “
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry