New gay row causes fresh splits in Popular Party
21 June 2005, MADRID — The issue of homosexuality has caused a new political row within the conservative opposition Popular Party.
21 June 2005
MADRID — The issue of homosexuality has caused a new political row within the conservative opposition Popular Party.
Controversial psychology professor Aquilino Polaino told the Spanish parliament homosexuality was a "disease" as deputies prepared for the final vote on a new law which would allow gay marriage and adoption.
But leading Popular Party (PP) figures have said they do not agree with Polaino's testimony.
PP spokesman Eduardo Zaplana and the former health minister, Ana Pastor, said they do not share the Polaino's views.
A controversial psychology professor told the Spanish parliament homosexuality is a "disease" as deputies prepare for the final vote on gay marriage and adoption.
Polaino, who was selected by the PP and opposed adoption of children by same-sex couples, argued against homosexuality — even though most scientists disagree with that position.
Polaino was among a group of experts who testified before a Spanish senate committee about children who are raised by same-sex couples experience.
Most said they experience normal psychological and emotional development, and said such pairs should be allowed to adopt.
The experts appeared before the Senate justice committee ahead of the upper house's vote on Thursday on a bill that would open the way for same-sex marriages in Spain.
The legislation, which would then be debated in the lower house, could be enacted by prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's government in the next few weeks.
The PP called for the senate committee's session, contending that it was necessary to hear from experts given the serious nature of the legislation, which would allow same-sex couples to adopt children.
Polaino, who said the environment in which a child grew up would determine its sexual identity, wagered that in 10 years those adopted by homosexual couples would sue the government and demand compensation for "having agreed to allow the break up of their personal identity".
The other experts, however, refuted Polaino's statements and the research he cited to back his position, contending that no scientific group considered homosexuality an illness and there were was no data showing that homosexuality could be induced.
Nearly 200,000 Spaniards marched through Madrid on Saturday protesting the gay-marriage bill.
The protest was called by the Family Forum, an organization that according to its leaders comprises more than 5,000 associations around Spain and enjoys the support of the PP and Spain's Catholic bishops conference.
It was the first time in almost two decades that the Spanish church officially supported a demonstration, one attended by 166,000 people - according to police - and 1.5 million, according to organizers.
Participants called for defeat of the bill, sponsored by the ruling Socialist Party, that wipes out any reference to gender in laws regulating marriage and the family.
In response to the protest, deputy prime minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega said demonstrators were not defending a right but "asking for a right to be denied others".
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news