"Marriage" Resolution Seen as Threat to Religious Freedom

Pro-Family Group Protests Move

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BRUSSELS, Belgium, JUNE 17, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The passing of an anti-discrimination resolution in the European Union could end up violating religious freedom by imposing homosexual marriage, warns a pro-family association.



The European Parliament on June 8 adopted a report on the protection of minorities and anti-discrimination policies in the European Union, written by Claude Moraes, a Socialist from the United Kingdom. The report passed on a vote of 360-272, with 20 abstentions.

"Of course, the report's commendable aim is to protect minorities from discriminations," said a statement from Euro-Fam, a lobbying organization that works to protect human dignity, the family and the unborn.

"However, this becomes egregiously problematic when it is done at the expense of other freedoms: in this case, there is a disconcerting threat to the freedom of religion," it added.

Fallout in education

The inclusion of Paragraph 22 in the report indicates that the European Parliament believes that freedom of religion involves discrimination and homophobia, citing the field of education.

"There is some concern that it will result in the suppression of the right of parents to choose the type of education they want for their children," stated Euro-Fam. "It also implies that religious organizations, for example, could no longer retain the right to choose to work with people who uphold common beliefs."

In Paragraph 24, the Parliament urges guarantees for the free movement of same-sex married couples within the Union.

"However, it goes as far as to ask that these same-sex marriages be recognized in the host country, even where same-sex unions or same-sex marriages are not legally recognized," stated Euro-Fam.

"This not only tramples on the sovereign will of several EU member states and on national legislations, but it could also result in redefining the traditional family in many states," Euro-Fam warned.

Bad precedent

The pro-family organization added: "The report sets a dangerous precedent because it clearly undermines the freedom of religion. The European Parliament has demonstrated that it is ready to ignore the principle of subsidiarity that protects national family policies."

Resolutions of the European Parliament do not have an executive character, but they tend to have an influence on policies in the member countries.

Giorgio Salina, European vice president of the Convention of Christians for Europe, told ZENIT that it was easy to see this coming "when it was said in the European Constitutional Treaty and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights that the premises existed to ratify marriage between homosexuals."