The Vatican has long maintained a hardline stance against gay marriage, but over the last few days, the Holy See has intensified its anti-gay agitprop, vowing to fight LGBT marriage equality around the world.
According to Reuters, the governing body of the Catholic Church launched an anti-gay media campaign over the weekend, pledging to never stop fighting attempts to "erase the privileged role of heterosexual marriage" -- a union it called "an achievement of civilization."
In a front-page article in Saturday’s Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the Holy See sought to frame itself as the lone voice of courage in opposing initiatives to give same-sex couples legal recognition. In a separate Vatican Radio editorial, the pope’s spokesman asked sarcastically why gay marriage proponents don’t now push for legal recognition for polygamous couples as well...
The Vatican’s anti-gay marriage media blitz came after three U.S. states approved same-sex marriage by popular vote in the election that returned Barack Obama to the U.S. presidency, Spain upheld its gay marriage law, and France pushed ahead with legislation that could see gay marriage legalized early next year.
"You could say that the church, on this level, is bound to lose," historian Lucetta Scaraffia wrote for the L’Osservatore Romano. "But this is not the case."
Scaraffia added that the "church's fight on moral issues such as gay marriage and abortion has drawn support and admiration from many non-Catholics," according to the Religion News Service.
Other than reiterating the belief that homosexual acts are "intrinsically disordered" and that the sanctity of marriage between a man and woman must be upheld for the benefit of society, the Vatican also adopted a new line of attack in its fight against gay marriage this weekend.
Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi likened gay marriage to polygamy and polyandry in an editorial on Vatican Radio -- a service that, as Reuters notes, is broadcast around the world in "some 30 languages."
“Monogamous marriage between a man and woman is an achievement of civilization,” Lombardi asserted.
And if gay marriage should be a right that is freely chosen, Lombardi argued, "why not contemplate also freely chosen polygamy and, of course, not to discriminate, polyandry?”
"Why not? If two men can pledge their love in a legally recognized union, who’s to stop a woman from marrying a wedge of cheese, right? I mean, where does it end?" wrote Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams in response to the Vatican's anti-gay campaign.
In a post entitled "The Vatican hates gays," Williams continued:
Father Lombardi isn’t the first person with a head full of faulty logic to trot out the “This slope! It’s just so darn slippery!” argument, of course. Last month, U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert declared, when pressed about same-sex unions on a campaign stop, “You know, we don’t have polygamy and bigamy and all of these things in, in the federal government. It’s the states that take care of that.”
Williams also cited Australian senator Cory Bernadi's recent comments that likened gay marriage to bestiality.
"Will that be a future step? In the future, will we say: ‘These two creatures love each other, and maybe they should be able to be joined in a union’? I think that these things are the next step,” Bernadi said in September. According to News.com.au, Bernadi resigned shortly after making that comment.
This week, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops convened and appeared to stand firm with the Vatican in its unwavering position against gay marriage.
According to the CBS News, U.S. bishops acknowledged Monday that "voters rejected the stands they took against gay marriage and birth control, but gave no sign they would change their strategy ahead."
Still, despite the hardline stance adopted by the Vatican and the Catholic leadership here in the U.S., Williams pointed out that the Catholic support that President Barack Obama received in this year's election may prove that many American Catholics "believe in marriage equality... and the reproductive rights of our fellow citizens."
Click through the slideshow to see most and least Catholic states in the United States: