Saturday, October 19, 2013

Guadalajara Catholic Archdiocese: gays are "emotionally unstable"; legislators should reject Jalisco civil union bill

Harsh characterization of gay life styles will further polarize Jalisco legislative debate

Guadalajara -
The official newspaper of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Guadalajara, the second largest concentration of Catholics in the nation, has called homosexuality an "illness," and argues that a pending civil union bill in Jalisco state is designed to "resolve the problem (of gays) who suffer from the emotional instability of attraction to persons of the same sex."

The comments, likely to generate controversy, appeared in Thursday's (Oct. 17) edition of Semanario Arquidiocesano de Guadalajara, the Church's authoritative voice in Mexico's second largest city (Un "progreso" mal entendido y planteado).

Although Mexico is but a short judicial step away from formal legal recognition of same sex marriage throughout the country, based upon human rights principles in its federal constitution, some of the nations's 31 jurisdictions are trying to side step the controversial issue by proposing laws which would recognize gay civil unions with almost all the rights and protections of traditional heterosexual marriage. But it is unclear if such statutes would pass constitutional muster and survive scrutiny by Mexico's Supreme Judicial Court, or whether gays must be allowed to marry.

The Pacific coast state of Colima enacted a union law earlier this year, and an almost identical bill is now pending before the Jalisco legislature. Although civil union laws afford gays most of the privileges of heterosexual couples, one notable exception in Mexico is that they prohibit adoption. PRI Jalsico governor Aristóteles Sandoval supports the bill, which is currently mired in procedural quicksand. Jalisco governor takes a stand on same sex civil unions, but it may not win him any points with gays.

The Guadalajara Archdiocese is strongly opposed to the Jalisco legislation, which it has condemned as an attempt to confer formal recognition on a "third genre of relationships" not historically known to societies or to the law. The Church's position is that persons are free to remain single or to enter into marriage, but if they choose the latter the parties must be of the opposite sex. Semanario wrote that its survey of priests and Catholic lay persons revealed overwhelmingly opposition to legally endorsed civil unions between same sex individuals.

Catedral de la Asunción de María Santísima, presided over by Francisco Robles Cardinal Ortega, Archbishop of Guadalajara and president of the Roman Catholic Mexican Episcopal Conference.

In surely its most controversial statement on the subject, Seminario wrote that the movement in favor of such unions "has its roots in the 1960s when, through demonstrations not infrequently violent, [gay advocacy groups] applied pressure on the American Psychiatric Association (APsychA) to change its definition of homosexuality from an illness to a lifestyle preference, without undertaking a study to demonstrate that in fact is what it is."

The archdiocesan paper's allegations are not entirely without historical support, as the American Psychological Association (APA) itself acknowledged in a lengthy report on the subject published many years later, in August 2009 (Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation, at pp. 23-24). The study noted "the 1969 Stonewall riots were a watershed [in] the movement for gay and lesbian civil rights," and then recapped what followed:

"In December 1974 the American Psychological Association passed a resolution [which affirmed] the resolution of the American Psychiatric Association. APsychA had concluded: 'Homosexuality per se implies no impairment in judgment, stability, reliability, or general social and vocational capabilities. APsychA urges all mental health professionals to take the lead in removing the stigma of mental illness which has long been associated with homosexual orientations.' [Subsequently], APA passed numerous resolutions supporting LGB civil rights and psychological well-being."

The 1974 proclamations by the two prestigious mental health organizations were thus essentially declarations of principle rather than founded upon any empirical studies. The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality as a listed illness in its renowned Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (now the DSM-5), where it had first appeared 22 years earlier, in 1952.

The Jalisco same sex civil union bill was introduced by a deputy of the far left Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), but it enjoys support among many members of the center left Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Most legislators of the center right National Action Party (PAN), which is often regarded as pro-Church in its political orientation and legislative agenda, are opposed to the proposed law.

Oct. 31 - Same sex civil unions now approved in Jalisco - but they won't be called marriage
Dec. 7, 2011 - "Conspiracy" cardinal resigns; served as archbishop of Guadalajara for 17 years

Sept. 10 - San Francisco millionaire, philanthropist and convicted pedophile dies in Vallarta prison
June 14 - Mexican Supreme Court rejects HIV discrimination case
Mar. 27 - Same sex marriage arrives at the U.S. Supreme Court - and at the Mexican Supreme Court
Mar. 6 - Mexican Supreme Court: anti-gay comments are hate speech, not free speech; not protected
Feb. 15 - American expatriate murdered in Mérida had sex with 17 year old boy just before his death
May 27, 2012 - Gay readers share candid thoughts on gay sex tourism in Mérida - and on gringos
May 26, 2012 - American citizen murdered in Mérida died at hands of gay sex partners, police say

© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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