Friday, March 15, 2013

Rachel Maddow on Argentina's marriage equality law and the new Pope

It's rare to see a cable network devote more than a few minutes to Latin American LGBT issues particularly during prime-time hours so it was refreshing to see Rachel Maddow spend five minutes last night talking about how marriage equality became law in Argentina back in 2010.

The Rachel Maddow, March 14, 2013

The groundbreaking law has gained new relevance this week after Argentine Jesuit priest Jorge Mario Bergoglio was named as the new Pope and christened Pope Francis. He was also the leading opponent of the Argentine marriage equality law back on 2010 as Cardinal of Buenos Aires - - and ended up on the losing side of history.

While Maddow went on to discuss what this all means for the future of the Catholic church you should also take a look at this Michael K. Lavers story at The Washington Blade on how LGBT advocates in Argentina are receiving the news ("Argentine gay activist Esteban Paulón criticizes Pope Francis").

And here is a statement released yesterday by the organization Esteban Paulón leads: The Argentine LGBT Federation (FALGBT):
The appointment of a Pope who affirmed Marriage Equality was the Plan of the Devil, is a bad sign for LGBTI rights 

The Argentine LGBT Federation expresses its deep regret for the appointment of the Archbishop of the City of Buenos Aires, Jorge Bergoglio, as the new Pope.
The election of Jorge Bergoglio as the new Pope marks a clear desire of the Vatican to radicalize its position against the recognition of diverse family structures.
Bergoglio was twice the President of the Argentine Episcopal Conference and led the campaigns against the laws of Marriage Equality (2010) and Gender Identity (2011/2012), obstructing the legislative advances obtained through the hard work of the FALGBT and the sexual diversity movement of Argentina.
During the campaign for Marriage Equality, Bergoglio called it "the plan of the devil" and led a crusade against it and called it “God’s War.”
During his public arguments against Marriage Equality in 2010, Bergoglio stated that “in the next few weeks the Argentine people will have to confront a situation whose result can gravely hurt the family: A same-sex marriage bill."
At stake, he claimed, was “the identity and the survival of the family: father, mother, and children. At stake is the life of so many children who will be deprived from the human development that God wanted by giving them a father and a mother. At stake is a direct rejection of the law of God, also engraved in our hearts."
In those same declarations Bergoglio expressed: “We remember what God himself said to his people in a moment of much anguish: ‘This war is not yours but God’s.’ May they assist, defend, and accompany him in God’s War.”
Currently, Pope Francis is an active militant against the right for secure, legal and free abortion, still awaiting debate in the Argentine Parliament despite the enormous social and parliamentary consensus that the ruling has.
Likewise, the performance of Bergoglio during the last military dictatorship is being investigated, especially regarding the theft of babies and disappearance of priests of liberation theology.
In that respect Esteban Paulón, president of the FALGBT, expressed: 
"While we have no expectations of change from the Vatican the choice of someone who promoted 'God's War' against marriage equality is disappointing. His radical position on this issue, on the gender identity law and on safe, legal and free abortion, keeps us from being optimistic."
Paulón added, “Perhaps the fact that Pope Francis has lived for the last two and a half years in a country where Marriage Equality is a reality and none of the catastrophes he predicted have come to pass might make him reconsider his negative stand on issues related to equality. At the very least, he will no longer be able to make arguments from a lack of knowledge as Argentina today is a more equal and peaceful country in which families have been strengthened and diversified thanks to the Marriage Equality and Gender Identity laws."
Finally, Paulón stated “beyond anyone's personal convictions, the Church continues to hold great sway on global public opinion and on the decisions made by other countries. It would be extremely positive if the Vatican, under Pope Francis, changed its ways and finally supported the United Nations Declaration Against the Penalization of Homosexuality by signing on to the statement."

No comments: