To raise public awareness on the alleged dangers coming from the “DDL Cirinnà”, the Catholic association “ProVita” (ProLife) has made a video titled “Unioni (IN)civili” (UN-civilized unions). I translated it in English and analyzed its inconsistency in 10 points
1) They (LGBT associations) say that to take position against same-sex civil unions means to discriminate homosexual people and to violate the principle of equality. However, the principle of equality requires not only to treat identical situations equally, but also to treat different situations differently.
This is not true. Standing up against same-sex unions means discriminating gays and lesbians. In other words, it means violating the principle of equality. Indeed, the Article 3 of the Italian Constitution states that all citizens must have equal, social dignity before the law without distinctions of sex, race, and religion. Moreover, the Constitution confers to the Republic the duty to remove any obstacle limiting citizens’ freedom and equality. In fact, discrimination might undermine an individual’s full development and participation in the social, economic life of the country. Therefore, extending marriage to same-sex couples doesn’t violate the principle of equality: it’s actually the opposite.
2) The union between a man and a woman is different in structure, potentiality and meaning from the union between two same-sex people. So, there is no discrimination … since there is a valid reason for a different treatment: the stable union between a man and a woman is objectively different from the others.
This is not true. As the Article 8 of ECHR claims, “everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.” As a consequence, straight families and homosexual families present themselves in the same way for what concerns structure, problems, needs, and goals. The relationship existing between two same-sex partners belongs to the concept of ‘family life’, as in the case of heterosexual couples.
3) No one has ever claimed that marriage requires the fertility of the couple: what matters is that a man and a woman have the potentiality to procreate, that is, to be the foundation of the natural family … Instead, same-sex couples are basically incapable of procreating.
This is not true. Within the Italian legal system, the possibility of having children is not a prerequisite for marriage. Otherwise, for instance, old people couldn’t get married, since they do no longer have the potentiality to give birth. Therefore, to bring up the procreative capacity of a couple to support the ‘traditional family’ finds no foundation within the Italian Constitution. Indeed, according to the civil law, being unable to have children is not a condition of disability or a cause of marriage dissolution. Actually, it’s the Code of Canon Law that considers the inability to procreate one reason for marriage dissolution. In fact, according to the Canon Law, marriage is sacred and its primary purpose is procreation. Nevertheless, civil society has nothing to do with religious society. The current debate on Cirinnà’s bill is juridical and not religious, and from a juridical perspective there is no valid reason to prohibit the recognition of same-sex unions. Furthermore, asserting that homosexual couples are essentially unable to procreate is wrong. Same-sex couples ARE potentially procreative, since they can procreate thanks to several techniques, such as surrogacy. That being said, to put the term “natural” next to the term “family” makes no sense, as Nature is characterized by diversity. Plus, within human evolution it’s very difficult, or impossible, to find a fixed pattern of ‘natural family’, because societies have changed in time.
4) Same-sex couples endanger the balanced development of children. Marriage is not just a way of protecting emotional relationships. If so, marriages between three men or four women should be recognized too. If everything is ‘family’, nothing is family anymore.
This is not true. First off, in Italy, polygamy is prohibited both for heterosexuals and homosexuals. Secondly, this point has nothing to do with the “DDL Cirinnà”. Finally, saying that civil unions put the balanced development of children at risk has no scientific basis. What really matters is the quality of the family environment: in order to grow up well, children need love, attention, dedication, and support from adults who can provide them all, regardless of their sexual orientation. In other words, to be straight is not enough to be a good parent.
(See: http://www.apsa.org/sites/default/files/2012%20%20Position%20Statement%20on%20Parenting.pdf and https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/American-Academy-of-Pediatrics-Supports-Same-Gender-Civil-Marriage.aspx)
5) They (LGBT associations) say that the recognition of civil unions doesn’t take away rights to anyone. But everyone knows that each right implies a duty or a restriction of freedom. For example, the approval of same-sex civil unions obliges registrars to recognize them. This means limiting the religious freedom or the freedom of thought of those officials who don’t want to register same-sex unions, due to their moral or religious beliefs.
This is not true. Italy is built on the fundamental principle of secularity, so the freedom of conscience has nothing to do with the transcription of same-sex couples on the register of civil unions. Furthermore, the Article 9 of ECHR claims: “everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion … Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.” In other words, the freedom of manifesting your own religion cannot abuse public ethics and others’ rights. Marriage is an individual’s fundamental right, and extending this right to gays and lesbians doesn’t affect any other fundamental right. As a consequence, recognizing homosexual relationships doesn’t diminish heterosexual relationships.
6) The approval of civil unions will lead to deny children’s right to have a father and a mother.
This is not true. Stating that children need a mother and a father is just a cliché. Growing up with two moms or two dads doesn’t affect a child’s psychophysical well-being. Children have the right to be loved, supported, protected, and educated by conscientious, responsible adults. Sexual orientation doesn’t determine a good or a bad parenting. Moreover, the Italian law recognizes the right of dual parenting, which is different from the right to have a mother and a father.
7) They (LGBT associations) say that in the most civil, advanced European countries same-sex unions and same-sex marriage are allowed. But these countries have not improved in all fields. Compared to Italy, they are actually undeveloped for what concerns family and emotional relationships. Holland, UK, Germany, Sweden, and Norway have the highest rates of domestic violence, sexual abuse, divorce, separations and suicides.
This is not true. First of all, claiming that those countries are undeveloped for what concerns family relationships seems a bit pretentious, considering their policies in support of families. Furthermore, it would be interesting to know which data “ProVita” is using to draw a connection between same-sex families’ rights and suicide–divorce–abuse rates. Why does this video make no reference to the high level of homophobia in Italy, instead?
8) They (LGBT associations) say that being against same-sex unions means discriminating those children coming from two moms and two dads. Yet, there are no children coming from two moms or two dads. Every child comes from a father and a mother. The recognition of homosexual unions would stabilize those situations in which a child is missing the figure of the mother or the father. In this way, situations in which the child is deprived of one of the two biological parents would be encouraged – as it happens in the case of surrogacy, in which a gay couple goes abroad and buys a baby.
This is not true. To claim that there are no children coming from two moms and two dads means to deny the existence of all those children growing up within rainbow families. No one denies that it needs the oocyte and the sperm to make a baby. Nevertheless, sexual intercourse is not the only way to bring them together. To put in other words, there are several ways to become parents and homosexuality doesn’t preclude a good parenting. Moreover, who are the real parents, eventually? Those who make available their own sperm and oocyte, or those who raise children by giving them care and guaranteeing them security? Being a parent cannot be reduced to a purely biological fact, then.
9) The issue of civil unions is gay adoption. If it’s removed, civil unions would be fine.
This is not true. Once again, the “DDL Cirinnà” is NOT about marriage, surrogacy, and adoption, but ONLY about civil unions and stepchild adoption for homosexual couples.
10) Civil unions are unfair and detrimental in any case, because there’s no reason to give public importance to simple, emotional relationships, especially when they involve questionable lifestyle choices … Therefore, we say NO to civil unions for the common good, for the children’s right to have a mom and a dad.
This video ends with a strong, homophobic reflection. Defining gays and lesbians’ life as “questionable” means denying that homosexuality is a natural variant of sexuality; it means considering homosexuality inferior to heterosexuality, as if it was just a perversion.
In conclusion, “ProVita” video reveals itself to be discriminatory and offensive without any valid reason. It tramples the dignity of the Italian LGBTQ+ community and denies the possibility for Italy to become an inclusive country. The truth is that sexual orientation cannot be the cause of discrimination: anyone deserves the right of having a family. “The opposite of ‘discrimination’ is ‘equality’ … This is not ideology, it’s justice.” (Monica Cirinnà)