Realizing the church couldn’t win the fight outright, Bergoglio urged his fellow Argentine bishops to lobby for gay civil unions instead, according to the then-cardinal’s authorized biographer. The bishops shot down the proposal and the church lost the issue altogether when the South American nation legalized gay marriage in 2010 — the first country in the region to do so.
Bergoglio once called gay marriage an “anthropological step backward.”
“If there’s a private union, then third parties and society aren’t affected,” he wrote. “But if they’re granted marriage rights and can adopt, there could be children affected...”
Homosexual activity is sinful. Everybody is affected by sin, but the problem is that sin is not something that can be outlawed - unless it affects third parties or unwilling parties.
There was one proposal I read, in fact, for civil unions that would have permitted what were essentially the formations of households or partnerships which had nothing to do with sexual activity but would give the parties automatic inheritance, hospital visiting and other rights. Granted, all these things can be obtained in other ways, but this would have taken away one of the big whiney claims that gays made I order to build support for gay “marriage.” So, yes, I think the Pope was right, because he was distinguishing marriage as something special not open to two persons of the same sex.
“lobby for gay civil unions”
this idea is ripe for a multitude of theories from the readers regarding:
-the double effect
-”lesser of two evils”
and all sorts of weird religious ideas about the above and personal ethics.
It could be argued that the civil unions would have directed off and lessened the drive for gay marriage. But that is usually the realm of legislators. It is another quesiton entirely how the bishops can lawfully lobby for civil unions when faced with impending gay marriage.