December 7, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Brazilian legislators appear to be moving closer to approving an “anti-homophobia” law, with the newspaper O Globo reporting that the National Congress of Catholic Bishops (CNBB) has made an “agreement” with Brazilian senators regarding the bill’s language.
Critics of the legislation have long expressed concern that the legislation would prohibit expressions of disagreement with the homosexual lifestyle, literally criminalizing the preaching of Christian doctrine in Brazil.
However, O Globo implies that CNBB representatives have been placated by new language in the bill that promoters claim will exempt religious expression from prosecution.
The new text reportedly exempts the “peaceful” demonstration “of thinking derived from faith and morality founded in the liberty of conscience, of belief, and religion.”
However, Evangelical senators are continuing to oppose the bill, arguing that the language is too vague and that religious liberty remains in danger.
If passed, the law would prohibit “homophobia,” a term used by the homosexual movement to characterize those who oppose its agenda as mentally ill. It would extend the same protections to “transgender” people, whose condition is still widely recognized by mental health professionals as a mental illness itself.
The Senate’s evangelical wing, led by Marcelo Crivella, has proposed an alternative bill that would also protect heterosexuals from discrimination.
Crivella says that the decision to modify the original bill with language purporting to protect religious freedom does not satisfy his faction.
Noting that the bill’s proponent, Mart Suplicy, “claims to have created an agreement,” Crivella said, “there is no agreement. If it [the bill] is put up for a vote, we will vote against it.”
If the O Globo report is correct, the CNBB’s decision to support the bill is likely to conflict with the official Vatican stance on the issue, annunciated by Cardinal Josef Raztinger in 1992, twelve years before he became pope.
As head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which protects Church teaching, Ratzinger wrote that “’Sexual orientation’ does not constitute a quality comparable to race, ethnic background, etc. in respect to non-discrimination. Unlike these, homosexual orientation is an objective disorder (cf. ‘Letter,’ No. 3) and evokes moral concern.”
He added, “Including ‘homosexual orientation’ among the considerations on the basis of which it is illegal to discriminate can easily lead to regarding homosexuality as a positive source of human rights, for example, in respect to so-called affirmative action or preferential treatment in hiring practices. This is all the more deleterious since there is no right to homosexuality (cf. No. 10) which therefore should not form the basis for judicial claims.”
Bishop Luiz Gonzaga Bergonzini, a pro-life leader among Brazilian Catholic bishops, told ACI Digital in an interview today that the new language inserted into the homophobia bill does not redeem it in his eyes.
“Every year 105,000 Christians are killed, only for professing their faith in Jesus Christ. Can you imagine if 105,000 homosexuals were killed every year? What would be the reaction of governments and society? There is no difference between human persons, men or women, the homosexual male human person or the female homosexual. The penal code establishes all of the penalties for crimes of aggression, homicide, and other wounds to the human body. There is no necessity of any new law to protect people in that sense.”
“If the bill talks about ‘liberty of conscience, belief and religion, there is also need to create an equal law for Christians, who are attacked and insulted, as happened on Paulista Avenue, with the public attacks on Catholic saints by homosexuals,” he added, referring to the mockery of Christianity by homosexuals during the annual gay parade in Sao Paulo.
National Conference of Brazilian Bishops
SE/Sul Quadra 801 Conjunto “B”
BRASÍLIA – DF
Pe. Antônio Silva da Paixão:
Subsecretário Adjunto Geral
Pe. Francisco de Assis Wloch
Subsecretário Adjunto de Pastoral
Pe. Rafael Vieira Silva
Pe. Geraldo Martins Dias
Pastoral Episcopal Commission for Life and Family (Comissão Episcopal Pastoral para a Vida e a Família)
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Pastoral Episcopal Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith (Comissão Episcopal Pastoral para a Doutrina da Fé)
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