‘Respect, don’t discriminate vs gays’

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AMID oral arguments at the Supreme Court for a petition to legalize gay marriage, clergy and lay experts urged the faithful to respect members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community. The Church, however, cannot recognize same-sex marriage, as marriage, by nature, is both a loving and life-giving institution.

“All persons have their own orientation. We see them as persons with sexual orientations deserving of respect. The rights have to be respected as persons,” Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo told the Varsitarian in an interview.

Pabillo’s statement echoed Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, which tackled respect for the individual’s dignity regardless of his or her sexual orientation.

“Every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his or her dignity and treated with consideration, while ‘every sign of unjust discrimination’ is to be carefully avoided, particularly any form of aggression and violence,” the Pope’s exhortation read.

Fr. Winniefred Naboya, judicial vicar of the Diocese of Malolos in Bulacan, stressed that marriage is a “divine institution” meant for the union of husband and wife and procreation.

“Marriage is a divine institution on the onset of man’s creation. One important purpose of marriage is procreation, thus civil union between same sex is a denial of it. Marriage cannot be an appropriate term in such union,” Naboya told the Varsitarian in an interview.

Canon Law defines marriage as “the matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring, has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptized.”

Lawyer Jeremy Gatdula, professor at the University of Asia and the Pacific, also said same-sex unions should not be equated with marriage because the former lack the procreation aspect.

“The two aren’t the same. Marriage produces life, the other one doesn’t,” he said.

Gatdula emphasized that marriage is vital to the country, which recognizes the family as the basic unit of society.

“[Family] needs to be protected because it produces children. Children become the population, the future citizens [who] need to be productive,” he said in an interview.

On June 16, the Pope upheld the traditional concept of family in remarks before an Italian family association. “It is painful to say this today: People speak of varied families, of various kinds of family,” but “the family [as] man and woman in the image of God is the only one,” he said.

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