French Cardinal Warns Same-Sex Marriage May Lead To Polygamy, Incest

 @crvillarreal on September 17 2012 3:49 PM

France's most senior-ranking Catholic Church official, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, has warned that the legislation permitting same-sex marriage would lead to complete "breakdown in society," suggesting it would lead to polygamy and possibly incest.

Barbarin's controversial statements come as French President Francois Hollande's Socialist government prepares a bill legalizing same-sex marriages and adoptions by same-sex couples, which will be presented to parliament in late October.

"This could have innumerable consequences. Afterward they will want to create couples with three or four members. And after that, perhaps one day the taboo of incest will fall," Barbarin said of the proposed legislation, the daily Telegraph reported.

"The first page of the bible, which says that marriage unites a man and a woman, has more force and truth, crossing cultures and centuries, than incidental or transient decisions made by a parliament. This is a choice of the government with which we do not agree," he added.

Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, a Socialist and one of a handful of France's openly gay politicians, responded to the cardinal's comments, describing them as "shocking."

"It is very shocking and even surprising coming from him, because he is someone I consider a wise man," Delanoe said, the Telegraph reported.

"I don't know what came over him, he flipped his lid a little bit and what he said was downright ugly."

Same-sex marriage has steadily gained wider approval in France with polling data showing 65 percent French people support it, and 53 percent supporting adoption by same-sex couples, France24 reported.

In the run-up to France's 2012 presidential election, Hollande promised to expand marriage rights to same-sex couples, which garnered him support from many in the country's LGBT community.

While most in France's LGBT look at the proposed bill as a positive step, concerns remain. In particular, the bill does not provide lesbian couples with equal access to medically assisted procreation, or MAP, which includes procedures such as artificial insemination.

"[W]ithout MAP, procreation is near impossible," Catherine Michau, head of GayLib, an LGBT faction affiliated with the conservative UMP party, told France24.

"It would be terribly hypocritical for the Socialists to introduce an 'equality' bill without allowing us the same parenting rights as our heterosexual peers. Half-hearted equality is not equality."

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