Monday, August 9, 2010

Prop. 8 Judge: Pope Hurt Homosexuals

By James Tillman

SAN FRANCISCO, California, August 9, 2010 ( -- In the 136-page ruling overturning California's ban on "gay marriage," Judge Vaughn Walker cites a document signed by then-Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, to show that "religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful" can "harm gays and lesbians."

William May, chairman of Catholics for the Common Good (CCG), told LifeSiteNews (LSN) that it was shocking for a federal court to rule that "Catholic teaching and [that] that of other religions are harmful to anyone."

He also said that Walker's ruling demonstrates how "freedom for religious expression and the private interests and feelings of individuals" are on a collision course.

"Religion has always been seen as a good," he said, but "now it is being seen by an increasing number of people as harmful.”

The document that Judge Walker quoted, entitled "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons," was issued in 2003 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who was then prefect.

The ruling quotes the document's statement that "Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts 'as a serious depravity.'"

The ruling also quotes the statement that there "are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family," as well other short statements summarizing Catholic theology.

These quotations are offered in support of the ruling's 77th "finding of fact": "Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians."

Walker's ruling has fully 80 findings of fact, which are separated from the "conclusions of law" in which he decides the case. Appellate courts are typically deferential to a lower court's findings of fact, which has lead most commentators to agree that Walker's ruling was specifically written to withstand appeal...

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