INTERNATIONAL NEWS #534
July 19, 2004
by Rex Wockner
Colombian gays protest at cathedral
Gay couples attended mass at the Catholic cathedral in Bogotá, Colombia, July 4 wearing T-shirts denouncing Vatican homophobia. Fellow worshippers responded with surprise or hostility, reports said.
"Homophobia is not Christian," the shirts said. Gayness is "a fact of nature that no human can change," said one of the
protesters, Gabriel Medina.
Same-sex marriage doesn't undermine marriage
International statistics do not support the argument of U.S. conservatives that allowing same-sex marriage will undermine traditional marriage, a study has found.
Research by University of Massachusetts economist Lee Badgett, for the Council on Contemporary Families and the Institute for Gay and Lesbian Strategic Studies, found that Scandinavia's marriagelike registered partnerships and the Netherlands' full same-sex marriages have had no measurable impact on opposite-sex marriage.
There have been no increases in divorce, cohabitation or out-of-wedlock childbirth, and in Denmark there has been an increase in the heterosexual marriage rate since the country instituted same-sex registered partnerships in 1989, Badgett said.
The study found that 77 percent of Norwegian couples with children and 75 percent of Dutch couples with children are married. The figure in the U.S. is 72 percent.
"The Scandinavian and Dutch experience suggests that there is little reason to worry that heterosexual people will flee marriage if gay and lesbian couples get the same rights," Badgett said July 13.