News / Europe

Same-Sex Marriage Issue Divides Europe

French Senate Votes on Gay Marriage; Issue Divides Europei
X
April 03, 2013
A bill allowing same-sex marriages will go before the French senate Tuesday - the final legislative hurdle before it's signed into law. The issue has divided many European countries, including Britain, where both supporters and opponents of gay marriage are watching developments in the U.S. Supreme Court closely. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
TEXT SIZE - +
Henry Ridgwell
— The issue of same-sex marriages has divided many European countries, including Britain - where both supporters and opponents of gay marriage are watching developments in the U.S. Supreme Court closely. 

Justin Welby, 57, officially became the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury last month under the gothic arches of Britain's 900-year-old Canterbury Cathedral.  Already the new head of the Anglican Church is in the eye of the stormy debate over gay marriage.  He said the Church should fight against homophobia, but it could not support same-sex marriage.

"The Church of England holds very firmly to the traditional view of marriage, that it is a lifelong union with one man and one woman," he said.

A former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, reignited the debate over the Easter weekend, accusing the British prime minister of bowing to 'aggressive secularism' in his backing of same-sex marriage.

Gay rights groups and secular campaigners criticized Lord Carey's intervention.
But the former archbishop's comments were timely, says Canon Chris Sugden of the organization Anglican Mainstream.

"It is very important to see that it is the non-material things that contribute greatly to society's health, in particular the health of the family," he said.

The new head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has in the past spoken out against gay marriage.

Eight European countries recognize same-sex marriage, and several more are debating such legislation.

Teresa Pires married her partner on the day Portugal, a majority Catholic country, signed same-sex marriage into law: June 7, 2010.  She says, now everybody knows, at least on paper, they are a family, and that is most important.

The gay marriage debate has divided France.  Demonstrations by supporters and opponents in recent months have drawn hundreds of thousands onto the streets.

Frédéric Navarro of the gay rights group Act Up Paris says the law is long overdue.  He says with the same-sex marriage law, society is beyond the denigration of homosexuality, and regarding homosexuals as if they are somehow below society.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on a law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.  Canon Sugden of says Europe is watching closely.

"What has not happened in this country is a debate," he said. "At least in America you have Proposition 8, you have had it on the election tickets.  Here, no manifesto proposal, no party has put this forward, it has not been in the Queen's speech.  It is very undemocratic."

Sugden predicts the debate could have political implications too, with traditional supporters of the ruling Conservative Party withdrawing their backing for Prime Minister David Cameron.

You May Like

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

Egyptian Court Jails 23 Pro-Morsi Supporters

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials say gunmen have killed two members of the country's security forces More

Pakistani Journalists Protest Shooting of Colleague

Hamid Mir, a host for private television channel Geo, was wounded after being shot three times Saturday, but is expected to survive More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid