On December 10, the French submitted to the U.N. General Assembly a non-binding declaration that would decriminalize homosexuality. The Vatican opposed the document, citing its concerns over language that could impose same-sex marriage in law.

As soon as the Vatican noted its opposition to the declaration, its critics went ballistic.  Italian newspapers branded the Catholic Church’s position “total idiocy and madness,” accusing it of being “obsessed with sin.” Amnesty International weighed in against the Vatican and Time magazine branded Pope Benedict XVI “Scrooge” for resisting the French declaration. All of these boilerplate comments were off base.

When addressing the declaration, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the U.N., made it very clear that the problem with the document was not that it seeks to protect homosexuals from being persecuted—the Church is obviously opposed to any such behavior—but that it opens the door to sanctioning gay marriage. His concerns are real: gay activists in support of the declaration already had said that this was the first step towards a binding U.N. resolution. And the problem with that is that it would ineluctably grease the slide towards gay marriage. As anyone who has seriously followed the gay rights movement would know, this is not a matter of conjecture—rather, it is part of the gay agenda.

The director of the Vatican press office, Father Federico Lombardi, also spoke to the issue. “Obviously, no one wants to defend the death penalty for homosexuals, as some would insinuate,” he said. He cited the principles embodied in the Catholic Catechismas excluding “not only the death penalty, but all violent or discriminatory penal legislations in relation to homosexuals.” What Lombardi wants, justly so, is to maintain the “privileged place” of marriage as being between a man and a woman.

In our news release addressing the issue, we said it was time to call the Vatican’s critics’ bluff: Let them first pass a binding resolution against gay marriage before considering the French proposal.

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