Peru rejects civil unions bill after Catholic bishop calls gay lawmaker a ‘faggot’

Monsignor Luis Bambarén Staff Reports

Monsignor Luis Bambarén

Monsignor Luis Bambarén

LIMA, Peru — A congressional committee in Peru has voted down a bill that would have allowed civil unions between same-sex couples, after a leading Catholic bishop lashed out at the gay lawmaker who drafted the legislation, calling him a “faggot.”

The Peruvian Times reports:

The debate over the legislation heated up in the days leading to the vote, with opponents and supporters holding separate protests. The legislation, proposed by lawmaker Carlos Bruce, faced stiff opposition in a conservative country where the Catholic Church still plays a strong role in public and private life.

Monsignor Luis Bambarén, Bishop emeritus of Chimbote, told Peruvian media that he strongly opposed the legislation, and called Bruce a “maricon,” Spanish for “faggot.”

“Congressman Carlos Bruce is making a fool of himself with all of this, appearing – excuse me for the term – like a faggot in the middle of everything,” said Bambaren. “He himself has said he is gay. Gay is not the Peruvian word, the word is faggot .”

Bruce responded that the bishop’s comments “reflect the hate that is typical of homophobia,” and said he was disappointed a representative of the Catholic Church, “apparently lacking arguments, now resorts to insults.”

The Congressional Justice and Human Rights Committee defeated the measure by a vote of 7-4 following a three-hour debate. Two members abstained.

“We have defended the natural family, as enshrined and recognized in our Peruvian Constitution,” said Congressman Julio Rosas, of the opposition, right-wing Fuerza Popular party.

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