Sunday, 17 May 2009

Times: Cohabitation not on par with marriage - Gozo bishop - Don't confuse the term 'family' - bishop

Sunday, 17th May 2009 by Kurt Sansone

Cohabitating couples should not be afforded the same status in the eyes of the law as their married counterparts, Gozo Bishop Mario Grech has said.

Speaking at a conference entitled 'The Future of the Family' last Friday, Mgr Grech said that any attempt to put various forms of cohabitation on the same level as marriage was "not a sign of progress".

The bishop acknowledged the need for legislative changes to establish the individual rights and obligations of cohabiting couples but insisted that these legal provisions should be distinct from the laws regulating marriage.

It would be unjust and discriminatory against married couples, he said, if these different realities in society were treated in the same legal way.

"If legal recognition is granted to cohabiting partners who are not a family, what point is there for marriage and the family to be regulated by law?" Mgr Grech said.

Critical of the contemporary notion that the family has different forms, Mgr Grech defined the term as being a specific relationship between a man and a woman bound together by marriage and their children.

"We would really be destroying the family when all sorts of cohabiting arrangements are called family," he said.

He insisted there was a tendency to confuse the term 'family' with every "primary social group bound by familiarity" whether it was "heterosexual" or, as he put it perhaps to avoid direct reference to gay couples, "monosexual".

His speech was delivered on the same day that a think tank called for the introduction of divorce to give legally separated couples the opportunity to remarry rather than cohabit.

The report by the Today Public Policy Think Tank was written by Martin Scicluna who warned that any legislative changes to regularise cohabiting couples should not come at the expense of introducing divorce legislation.

The report said that many people had no option but to cohabit because they could not remarry.

[Click on the hyperlink at the top to view all the comments at the Times' website.]

Comment by G Debattista on the Times' website.
To Mgr Bishop Mario Grech

Don't confuse the term 'monosexual'. Monosexuality to homosexuality are not exclusive since the term you used incorporates all those who are attracted to only one sex (ie. not bisexual). Therefore monosexuality includes BOTH homosexuality and heterosexuality.

Additionally I wonder why you chose a term which is often regarded as derogatory to whoever it is applied...

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