South America

Catholic Church, conservative politicians attack Peru’s same-sex civil union bill

Juan Luis Cipriani

Juan Luis Cipriani

LIMA, Peru — The Catholic Church and leading conservative politicians have lunched an attack on a Peru lawmaker and his draft bill to legalize same-sex civil unions, calling it an attempt to “justify his [sexual] orientation.”

Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, leader of Peru’s Catholic church, slammed Congressman Carlos Bruce’s proposed legislation, and labeled same-sex civil unions a “caricature of marriage.”

Juan Luis Cipriani

Juan Luis Cipriani

Cipriani said that legalizing civil unions is a strategy to open the door to “gay marriage,” and warned that if voted into law, it would “shatter” the institution.

Caipriani’s tactic to discredit the bill, based on accusations that Bruce is gay, was quickly seized upon by conservative journalists and politicians.

On Sunday, the tabloid La Razon, ran a front page article headlined: “Cipriani pulls Bruce out of the closet.”

“I regret that … [the cardinal] is bringing up personal matters…. I will not answer such vileness,” Bruce said, noting that his bill does not propose to legalize same-sex marriage in Peru, nor does it include adoption rights.

In response, Bruce — a columnist for La Razon — announced he would no longer be writing for the publication.

Meanwhile, conservative Congressman Carlos Tubino has taken to Twitter, and in a series of more than one hundred tweets since Friday, has to criticized Bruce and the bill.

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“I oppose Bruce’s bill and admission of homosexuals to the armed forces. We will fight!” he tweeted.

“Fight against those who seek to contaminate and morally degrade our military!” said Tubino, in another tweet.

Tubino also criticized Bruce’s assertion that his proposal is in line with the principles of the Peruvian constitution, which upholds equality of every citizen before the law.

“Article 4 of the Constitution is very clear in stating the protection of family and marriage,” he said.

In response to criticism accusing Tubino of homophobia, the congressman tweeted (since deleted): “Homophobia does not exist, you can have claustrophobia or hydrocephalus but not homophobia.”

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