The dangers of decriminalisation
In the early sixties the battle to have abortion legalised raged in many countries, the initial step being that of having abortion decriminalised. The abortion lobby cited the large number of women dying from unsafe abortions carried out by back-street abortionists as its main reason for having abortion sanctioned by law. The Catholic Church was accused of being insensitive to the plight of women dying at the hands of what the Italians called "mammane". Eventually, decriminalisation of abortion quickly translated itself into its legalisation in a large number of countries, this often being presented as the best possible solution to solve an intractable problem.
A similar strategy was and is still being used by those who would like to have drugs, especially soft drugs, legalised. The argument brought forward is that the criminal world would suffer a devastating blow were drugs to be legalised and consequently drug-related crimes would dramatically decrease.
Roughly the same scenario is present today with regards to same-sex marriages. The Catholic Church is being described as indifferent to the sufferings of homosexuals in countries where harsh penalties are carried out on those who practice homosexual acts. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Church makes it clear that "The number of men and women who have deep seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2358).
However, the Church recognises that the whole intention behind the decriminalisation of homosexuality is the eventual recognition of same-sex unions and the equating of heterosexual to homosexual marriages. The latter is the ultimate aim of all the lobbying carried out by homosexual organisations the world over.
The Catholic Church has learned from bitter experience what the decriminalisation of, for example abortion, has meant for her agencies and institutions. In the United Kingdom, many Catholic agencies that worked for the adoption of children are threatened with closure because of the Church's refusal to give children up for adoption to homosexual couples. In the United States, if the future Obama administration forges ahead and the Freedom of Choice law comes into effect, many Catholic hospitals and institutions will have to close shop because of the pressure that will be put on them to carry out abortions. The same could happen if the French and EU-sponsored proposal at the United Nations to decriminalise homosexuality is successful. Nations - and there are over a hundred of them - which together with the Vatican disagree with the proposal, will be discriminated against and come under enormous pressure to accept the unacceptable - the equation of heterosexual and homosexual unions.