Faith and Civil Marriage for Same-Sex Couples in Latin America

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  • Support for the freedom to marry among people of faith in Latin America – and around the world – has grown among all faith traditions in recent years. Many people of faith understand that we can make religious choices in our own lives but still respect others’ desire to obtain a civil marriage license.

    • People of faith are speaking out in support of civil marriage for same-sex couples because it safeguards religious freedom – while ensuring that gay and lesbian couples can obtain a civil marriage license.
    • Churches and faith traditions should always be free to practice their own beliefs. That’s why allowing same-sex couples to obtain a civil marriage license will not force any faith to recognize or perform a marriage that goes against their beliefs and values. This is about civil marriage – and nothing more.
    • This is true in the ## Latin America countries where the freedom to marry is law: Same-sex couples can obtain a civil marriage license while ensuring that no religious community is forced to violate their beliefs.
    • Civil marriage is the responsibility of the government. Just as the government respects church-sanctioned marriages, and would not presume to tell churches who they may or may not marry, so too, faiths should be respectful of civil marriages.
    • However, there are many churches and people of faith who do support marriage for gay and lesbian couples – and they should be allowed to embrace marriages consistent with their traditions and customs.
    • A growing number of faiths support civil marriage for couples because they believe that every gay and lesbian person is a child of god – and everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.
    • Many people of faith are guided by The Golden Rule in their understanding and movement toward ending the exclusion of gay and lesbian couples from marriage. Treating others as we would want to be treated includes allowing loving and committed gay couples to marry.
    • It’s one reason why Catholics, in particular, are speaking out for civil marriage equality in Latin America and across the globe. Studies show that a strong majority of Catholics believe that you can disagree with the Church on the issue of civil marriage for same-sex couples and still be a good Catholic.
    • While Catholic bishops hold certain positions, Catholic faithful have a diversity of opinions, including strong stances in support of civil marriage for gay and lesbian couples. They in turn want their money and resources to aid their church, dioceses and the most needy – not anti-gay campaigns that fuel division and violate the Golden Rule.

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