VATICAN ( -- The official Vatican newspaper today issued a strong reaction to a proposal for legal approval of same-sex marriages. "Do we really want to kill the family?" asked L'Osservatore Romano.

      The proposal to grant legal status to homosexual "marriage" was introduced in the Italian chamber of deputies by representatives of the leftist PDS and centrist Forza Italia parties. It would provide for a registration of "affective unions," which same-sex couples could enter. The L'Osservatore article observed that by this process, a homosexual union would gain a status approximating that of a legal marriage, "within certain limits." The proposal would not allow homosexual couples to adopt children, nor would it have any effect on the legal status of children from a previous union.

      Nevertheless, the Vatican newspaper pointed out, the proposal is unsettling because it points to an abandonment of moral principles, and suggests a profound reversal of legal reasoning. L'Osservatore expressed shock that support for the proposal came from across party lines, noting: "One cannot remain indifferent, faced with the fact that a decision of such revolutionary has gained such broad support from both the majority and the opposition."

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April 3-5, 1998 volume 9, no. 67         DAILY CATHOLIC