Swiss diocese semi-ok with same sex marriage

Switzerland’s largest Roman Catholic diocese says it will welcome the arrival of civil marriage equality if the Swiss National Council passes legislation allowing it.

The Council is tipped to consider the issue within the next few months.

Given that the civil law changes, the Diocese of Basel says it will bless same-sex unions, as long as the rites differ from marriage ceremonies.

“We welcome the proposed regulations that give homosexual partnerships stable and reliable legal protection,” diocesan spokesman Hansruedi Huber says.

“It is important to us that children who grow up in same-sex partnerships receive a legal framework that serves the best interests of the child.” Huber also said priests within the diocese may bless such unions, but the ceremonies “must differ in content and form from the church wedding.”

The bishop of Basel, Felix Gmur, had made a similar comment in a news report in 2017.

“One does not bless the bond, but the two same-sex people on their common path together. … In the celebration of the church, one should avoid anything that is reminiscent of a marriage: the exchange of rings, the yes-word, the eternal promise of fidelity.”

Church Militant, a far-right Catholic site that queried the diocese on whether it “affirms or denies the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexual acts being intrinsically evil.” had not received an answer by last Wednesday.

At the other end of the spectrum, the U.S.-based New Ways Ministry that advocates for LGBTQ equality within the church, is pleased with the Swiss response.

“The Diocese of Basel’s leaders, and many other church leaders, have shown the church has every reason to and must support civil marriage equality as what is best for LGBTQ families,” a blog post says.


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