July 11, 2007 – Showdown on Marriage Looming in the European Union

July 11, 2007 – Showdown on Marriage Looming in the European Union

Family Watch International

July 11, 2007

on Marriage Looming
in the European Union

Dear Friend of the Family,

Sharon Slater, President
The stage is now set for a major showdown on the issue of same-sex
marriage in Europe–a debate that has profound implications for the
very future of Europe.
The precipitating event will likely
be Poland’s firm rejection last week of those portions of the Charter
of Fundamental Rights of the European Union that prohibit discrimination
on the basis of sexual preference.

Poland takes this stand in direct defiance of a warning issued
last year by the Justice Minister of the EU
that countries
which discriminated against homosexuals, including prohibiting them
from legally marrying, faced sanctions by the EU and the possibility
of eventual expulsion. The EU has already passed a resolution condemning
Poland’s stand on homosexual “rights” and related issues.

However, most of the 10 countries which joined the EU in 2004,
like Poland, do not provide any benefits or recognition to same-sex
couples, and Poland, Latvia and Lithuania have specific constitutional
provisions prohibiting same-sex marriage.
Even in the very
liberal Czech Republic, which has a registered partnership law for same-sex
couples, a recent poll showed that public opposition to legalizing same-sex
marriage or allowing homosexuals to adopt has increased significantly
in just two years. This is probably due to the strong pro-family leadership
of President Vaclav Klaus.

While some of the smaller countries may be easily bullied by the EU,
it will be much more difficult with Poland, which is the sixth largest
of the 27 EU countries.

This looming debate over the value of traditional marriage
and other social issues such as protecting unborn life, may well be
the last, best hope for many European societies to avoid their current
slide into oblivion.

Most of Europe, including Eastern Europe, is in the process of committing
what one analyst has termed “demographic suicide.” The fertility
rates are far below the 2.1 children per woman that simply maintains
population levels. Most of them, including large countries such as Germany,
Italy and Spain, have dangerously low fertility rates. In fact, as a
UN population report recently pointed out, some of these countries are
experiencing fertility rates that are the lowest in all of human history.

Declining populations will cause major economic and social
disruptions as a shrinking number of young people have to try to support
an increasingly aging population.
This will be especially difficult
in many European countries because of currently existing generous social
welfare programs.

Although there are a number of reasons for dramatic declines in fertility
rates, one thing is clear; legalizing same-sex marriage will never be
a part of the solution. In fact, we can be pretty confident that it
would only make things worse. There can be no doubt that a significant
cause of these declining fertility rates is the increasingly liberal,
secular and anti-any-true-values social attitudes that pervades many
of these countries.

Adopting such a radical redefinition of the institution of marriage
further undermines what remains of the traditional values and institutions
that are so critical to a healthy society, making their future prospects
for recovery even bleaker.

This is why the courageous stand by Poland and some of the
other 10 new EU countries is so critical to Europe’s future.

If the Poles, the Lithuanians, the Latvians and others fold under
the pressure that will increasingly be brought to bear on them by the
EU, then for Europe, it would probably be “game over.” But
I don’t think they will.

I had the chance to meet and hear from many Poles and their leaders
at the World Congress of Families in Warsaw in May. (In fact, the primary
reason the Congress was held there was as a demonstration of world support
for the stands the Poles are taking on marriage and family issues.)
My sense is that they are resolute and firmly committed to traditional
family values and institutions. I do not think they will cave.

For the sake of the future of Europe, let us support the Poles in
their courageous stand in defending marriage and traditional family

Sharon Slater
Sharon Slater

News Items of Interest

U.S. House of Representatives Votes to Fund Foreign Family Planning

A bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives would restore
funding to foreign family planning groups, including abortion providers.
The legislation, now headed to the Senate, is expected to be vetoed
by President Bush. Read more here.

Homosexual Rights Derailed in Columbia

A bill which would have granted homosexual couples some of the same
rights as heterosexual couples was voted down at the last minute in
Columbia. The bill was expected to pass, but one conservative senator
called for individual votes and many of the bill’s supporters were
absent. One of the bill’s sponsors, Senator Armando Benedetti vowed
to bring the bill back when Congress reconvenes in late July. Read
more here.

Poland Stands Up to European Union Again

In another brave move, the Polish government has announced that
it will not accept the part of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of
the European Union that deals with discrimination on the basis of
sexual orientation. Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Poland’s Prime Minister,
has announced that same-sex couples will not be legally recognized
because to do so would violate Poland’s cultural heritage. Poland
points out that it retained the right to protect the nation’s
cultural heritage when it joined the EU. Read more here.

Support of Homosexual Rights Falling in Czechoslovakia

Public support for homosexual rights has dropped according to a
poll taken in Czechoslovakia. The poll revealed that support of same-sex
marriage and adoption by homosexual couples has decreased over the
past two years. Czech President, Vaclav Klaus publicly proclaimed
his opposition to homosexual marriage and adoption last February.
Read more here.

Maryland School Officials Teach That People Are Born Homosexual

Contrary to scientific evidence, the Montgomery County Board of Education
in Maryland has declared in its new sex education curriculum for children
that some babies are homosexual at birth. The school board has received
a great deal of criticism, and parents and doctors have raised objections
to the curriculum claiming that it is inaccurate, unscientific and
discriminatory. Read more here.

European Union Threatens to Withdraw Aid to Nicaragua

Last November, Nicaraguan President Enrique Bolanos signed into law
a bill that prohibits all abortions, including those for rape and
incest or to save the life of the mother. Now the European Union has
threatened to cut aid to the nation of Nicaragua because of the law.
The Netherlands has also pledged to revoke funding unless the law
is changed. Read more here.

Cuban Communist Party Plans for Homosexual Rights

The Communist Party of Cuba has announced a plan that will reform
the country’s family laws and grant rights to same-sex couples
including adoption of children, sex changes, and same-sex unions.
Mariela Castro, daughter of interim president Raul Castro said, “We
have inherited a patriarchal family model. We are not capable of breaking
with it and we must do so.” Read more here.

Spanish Families to be Paid for Having Children

The Prime Minister of Spain, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, announced
that families in that country will receive financial assistance of
$3400 for each child born. According to the Prime Minister, Spain
"needs more families with more children" to continue on
its current path of sustained economic growth. Read more here.

Lesbian Complaint against Methodist Church

Harriet Bernstein and Luisa Paster, a lesbian couple from New Jersey,
have filed a complaint with New Jersey Division on Civil Rights because
the Methodist Church will not rent the Ocean Grove Campground boardwalk
pavilion for their civil union ceremony. New Jersey has a recently
prohibited discrimination in public accommodations. Read more here.

United Church of Christ Officially Supports Same-sex Marriage

The general synod of the United Church of Christ has passed a resolution
affirming “equal rights for couples regardless of gender,”
becoming the first major U.S. Christian denomination to officially
sanction same-sex marriage. The church has 1.3 million members. Read
more here.


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