Sunday, July 17

World Socialist Web Site Calls Gay Marriage Protests a Display of Religious Backwardness

It's funny how they have to resort to name calling. I'm sure they are scared. As I posted last month, my sources in Spain and present at the rally indicated that the police estimated the crowd at 1.5 to 2.0 million people who, despite an earlier rally by the gay community (less than 100,000), turned out en masse to demonstrate their support against the initiative.
Spain’s Catholic Church has organised a series of demonstrations against the Socialist Party (PSOE) government’s legalization of homosexual marriage. The largest of these took place on June 18 in Madrid.

On June 30, Spain’s congress voted 187 to 147 to pass the legislation. The protests nevertheless demonstrate how the Vatican and the highest echelons of the Church have joined hands with the right-wing Popular Party (PP) in a campaign to destabilize and drive the PSOE from power.

Nineteen bishops joined the protests against the legislation. The presence of Madrid’s cardinal in a protest against an incumbent government has not been seen since the 1930s. Cardinal Antonio Rouco Varela described the legislation as the negation of “human reason” and an expression of “anarchic freedom.”

The demonstration was officially organized by the Forum for the Family, but was dominated by right-wing Catholic groups such as Communion and Liberation, Opus Dei as well as the PP itself.

Party leader Mariano Rajoy said the PP will examine the law “to decide whether to present an appeal against the law on the grounds of it being unconstitutional.”

After the law was passed, the Vatican’s Cardinal Lopez repeated a demand for a campaign of civil disobedience to prevent gay marriages taking place. His call and the protests were reported July 1 in the National Catholic Review under the headline, “A new battle plan, Spanish Catholics take pope’s fight against ‘relativism’ to the streets.”

Spain’s bishops’ organization, the Episcopal Congress, under the direction of the Vatican and new Pope Joseph Ratzinger, encouraged Catholics to “take to the streets” and to combat what they described as a “virus” the PSOE has released into society. The size of the Madrid demonstration was hotly disputed. Police estimated attendance at 166,000, PP Madrid officials estimated 700,000 and Forum for the Family declared 1,500,000 had protested. Most media sources settled on 500,000.