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MARRIAGE DIGEST: Spain to legalize same-sex ‘marriage’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Spain will become the fourth country in the world where same-sex couples can officially “marry” if new Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has his way.

Spain would join Belgium, the Netherlands and three provinces in Canada that already issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“The moment has finally arrived to end once and for all the intolerable discrimination which many Spaniards suffer because of their sexual preferences,” Zapatero told Parliament April 15, according to Reuters.

“Homosexuals and transsexuals deserve the same public consideration as heterosexuals,” he said. “As a result we will modify the Civil Code to recognize their equal right to marriage with the resulting effects over inheritance, labor rights and social security protection.”

Zapatero, a member of Spain’s Socialist Party, won in an upset following the train bombings in Madrid that killed 191 people.

His announcement is sure to anger the country’s Catholic bishops.

C.O.G.I.C. STANDS FIRM — The general assembly of the Church of God in Christ adopted a statement April 13 supporting the traditional definition of marriage and opposing attempts to legalize same-sex “marriage.” It is the latest effort by black leaders to distance themselves from the same-sex “marriage” movement. The denomination is predominantly black.

“[I]n spite of the progressive normalization of alternative lifestyles and the growing legal acceptance of same-sex unions, we declare our opposition to any deviation from traditional marriages of male and female,” the statement declared. “Notwithstanding the rulings of the court systems of the land in support of same-sex unions, we resolve that the Church of God in Christ stand resolutely firm and never allow the sanctioning of same-sex marriages by its clergy nor recognize the legitimacy of such unions.”

The assembly was meeting in Memphis, Tenn. The denomination had an estimated 8 million members in 1997.

HEARING IN ORE. — An Oregon judge heard oral arguments April 16 on whether officials in the Portland area are breaking state law by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The lawsuit pits Multnomah County and same-sex “marriage” supporters against the state attorney general and pro-family groups. County officials began issuing the licenses in March.

In legal briefs the state attorney general argued that the issue should be left up to the legislature, the Associated Press reported. A ruling is expected by the end of April, AP said.

Pro-family leaders in Oregon are beginning a petition drive to place a state constitutional marriage amendment on the ballot this fall.

N.M. JUDGE CHOSEN — A judge has been chosen in a New Mexico case involving a county clerk who wants to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, The Albuquerque Journal reported.

Judge Louis P. McDonald of Sandoval County was selected April 15 to decide whether to make permanent a temporary restraining order preventing Sandoval County Clerk Victoria Dunlap from issuing the licenses. Another judge had issued the temporary order, only to recuse himself from the case.

Dunlap issued several marriage licenses to same-sex couples in February.

CLERGY MEET WITH NEWSOM — Some 30 pastors and leaders from the San Francisco area met privately with Mayor Gavin Newsom April 14, expressing their belief that marriage is a union of only one man and one woman. Newsom led the charge to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, although a state court has since stopped him.

A statement supporting the traditional definition of marriage was given to Newsom and the press. The statement represented more than 600 churches, the Associated Press reported. Newsom said he disagrees with the leaders.

“Along with many Americans, our congregations have been moved to action over this issue in a way we have seldom seen,” the statement read. “They are offended at the conduct of their city leaders who have so openly ignored the democratic process of which they consider themselves an important part.

“We call upon Mayor Gavin Newsom to permanently cease his deliberate defiance of the public’s will in regard to the institution of marriage, and to embrace a position that is truly representative of the citizens of our great city. We call upon him to uphold the laws of the State of California and the laws of God which rightly define marriage as ‘one man and one woman.'”

BRIEF SOUGHT IN CALIF. — The California Supreme Court has asked both sides in the San Francisco same-sex “marriage” case to present written arguments as to whether marriage licenses already issued should be declared invalid. The court made the request April 14, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The court is deciding whether the city exceeded its authority by “marrying” same-sex couples in defiance of a state law. The court is not, however, deciding the legality of same-sex “marriage” itself. The city performed more than 4,000 same-sex “marriages.”

HOUSE BACKERS? –- Rep. Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat and an open homosexual, says as many as “50 or more” U.S. House members support legalizing same-sex “marriage,” the homosexual newspaper Washington Blade reported April 9.

“I can say the number is growing rapidly,” he said. “I would say it’s in the dozens.”

The House and Senate are considering a constitutional marriage amendment that would protect the traditional definition of marriage.

ALA. AND OKLA.? — Legislators in Alabama and Oklahoma advanced constitutional marriage amendments April 15. An amendment passed the Alabama Senate 24-1 and the Oklahoma Senate 38-7. If they pass their respective House chambers, they will go to voters this fall.

Already, legislators in four states — Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Utah — have sent marriage amendments to voters this fall.

Pro-family leaders support such efforts, but say that a federal amendment is the only way to protect the nation from federal court rulings on same-sex “marriage.” A federal judge currently is examining the constitutionality of Nebraska’s marriage amendment.
For more information about the national debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit

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  • Michael Foust