Thursday, June 30, 2005

"Catholic" Spain inviting the Spirit of Antichrist

Now Spain has "legalized" sodomite marriage:

MADRID, Spain (AP) -- Parliament legalized gay marriage Thursday, defying conservatives and clergy who opposed making traditionally Roman Catholic Spain the third country in the world to officially recognize same-sex unions. Gay rights activists cheered lawmakers and blew them kisses.
The measure passed the 350-seat Congress of Deputies by a vote of 187-147 with four abstentions. The bill, part of the ruling Socialists' aggressive agenda for social reform, also lets gay couples adopt children and inherit each others' property.
The bill is now law. The Senate, where conservatives hold the largest number of seats, rejected the bill last week, but the Senate is an advisory body and final say on legislation rested with the Congress of Deputies.
Gay couples will be allowed to marry as soon as the law is published in the official government registry, the Boletin Oficial del Estado. This could come as early as Friday or within two weeks at the latest, the parliament's press office said.
After the final tally was announced, activists watching from the spectator section of the ornate chamber cried, cheered, hugged, waved to lawmakers and blew them kisses.
Several members of the conservative opposition Popular Party, which vehemently opposed the bill, shouted: "This is a disgrace." Those in favor stood and clapped.
The Netherlands and Belgium are the only other two countries that recognize gay marriage nationwide. Canada's House of Commons passed legislation Tuesday that would legalize gay marriage by the end of July as long as the Senate also passes the bill, which it is expected to do.
"We were not the first, but I am sure we will not be the last. After us will come many other countries, driven, ladies and gentlemen, by two unstoppable forces: freedom and equality," Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero told the chamber before the vote.
Zapatero said the reform of Spain's legal code simply adds one dry paragraph of legalese -- but means much, much more.
He called it "a small change in wording that means an immense change in the lives of thousands of citizens. We are not legislating, ladies and gentlemen, for remote unknown people. We are expanding opportunities for the happiness of our neighbors, our work colleagues, our friends, our relatives."
Zapatero lacks a majority in the chamber but got help from small regional-based parties that tend to be his allies.
Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy said after the vote that Zapatero has deeply divided Spain and should have sought a consensus in parliament that recognized same-sex unions but didn't call them marriages. Rajoy said that if the vast majority of countries in the world don't accept gay marriage, including some run by Socialists, there must be a reason.
"I think the prime minister has committed a grave act of irresponsibility," Rajoy told reporters.
The gay marriage bill was the boldest and most divisive initiative of the liberal social agenda Zapatero has embarked on since taking office in April 2004.
Parliament overhauled Spain's 25-year-old divorce law on Wednesday, also irking Spain's Roman Catholic Church, by letting couples end their marriage without a mandatory separation or having to state a reason for the split-up as required under the old law.
He has also pushed through legislation allowing stem-cell research and wants to loosen Spain's restrictive abortion law.
The Roman Catholic Church, which held much sway over the government just a generation ago when Gen. Francisco Franco was in power, had adamantly opposed gay marriage. In its first display of anti-government activism in 20 years, it endorsed a June 18 rally in which hundreds of thousands marched through Madrid in opposition to the bill. Some 20 bishops took part in the June 18 rally.
On Wednesday, a Catholic lay group called the Spanish Family Forum presented lawmakers with a petition bearing 600,000 signatures as a last-minute protest.
Late last year, a spokesman for the Spanish Bishops Conference, Antonio Martinez Camino, said that allowing gay marriage was like "imposing a virus on society -- something false that will have negative consequences for social life."
However, polls suggest Spaniards supported gay marriage. A survey released in May by pollster Instituto Opina said 62 percent of Spaniards support the government's action on gay marriage, and 30 percent oppose it. The poll had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
But surveys show Spaniards about evenly split over whether gay couples should be allowed to adopt children.

"And they did not understand until the flood came and swept them all away." (Matthew 24:39).

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