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El Salvadorans Fight to Protect Marriage and Prevent Homosexual Adoption

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman,

SAN SALVADOR, April 21, 2009 ( – The Congress of El Salvador is currently considering constitutional amendments to definitively prohibit "homosexual marriage" and protect children from adoption by homosexuals.

The measures have thus far been endorsed by all major parties except the most influential one — the socialist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), which won the recent presidential election.

The constitutional amendments were approved in a vote in 2006 and now must be ratified by the unicameral legislature of El Salvador before the FMLN takes office, or the reform could be in jeopardy.

"What we want to do is safeguard the good of the family, of matrimony, of the society and put a padlock so that the values of the society are firm," said Jose Luis Escobar Alas, Archbishop of San Salvador, in a press conference.

He also stated that "unions of people of the same sex are not moral, so they cannot be marriage."

"We’re not talking about a discriminatory attitude, exclusive, marginalizing our brothers who are in homosexual groups," said Escobar Alas. "What is at stake is the good of marriage." He asked that the measures be approved quickly to avoid the possibility that "someone will play the game of going to another country to get married where homosexual marriage is permitted and then we have to recognize it."

The Catholic Church in El Salvador has reportedly gathered 200,000 signatures supporting the amendments, which are to be presented to the Congress.

The El Salvadoran newspaper El Mundo reports that Escobar Alas was scheduled to meet at 11 am on Sunday with legislators from the FMLN to try to convince the party to support the pro-marriage amendment. He has expressed the hope that the amendment will be ratified unanimously.