French Church says gay marriage plan is for few not many
By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor
PARIS (Reuters) - France's leading Roman Catholic prelate said on Saturday a government plan to legalise same-sex marriage would profoundly affect the equilibrium of French society, calling it a reform for the few not the many.
Speaking in the pilgrimage town of Lourdes, Paris Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois urged Catholics to show their opposition to a planned marriage reform by writing and speaking to their elected officials and through other "democratic means of expression".
His call to action, announced at an annual plenary meeting of the country's Catholic bishops, came as President Francois Hollande's left-wing government prepared to present its draft bill on gay marriage in cabinet next Wednesday.
French faith leaders - mostly Catholic, but also Jewish, Muslim, Protestant and Orthodox Christian - and conservative politicians have mobilised against the law, especially against its provision to allow gay couples to adopt children.
"The presidential and legislative elections (earlier this year) did not give them carte blanche, especially not for reforms that very profoundly affect the equilibrium of our society," said Vingt-Trois, who called the planned reform "a fraud".
"It will not be 'marriage for all'," he said, citing the slogan of the pro-reform campaign, "it will be the marriage of a few imposed on all".
Opinion polls say voter support for same-sex matrimony has slipped several points to under 60 percent and to under 50 percent for gay adoption as the opposition has ratcheted up its campaign since last summer. Continued...