Up to 1 million people rallied in Rome last week against a proposal to give some legal protections to unmarried couples, including gay couples. The proposed law would give cohabiting couples hospital visitation and inheritance rights, although it would not create formal civil unions. Catholic and other Christian groups organized the Family Day rally to support the “traditional family structure of marriage between a man and a woman.” Speaking from Brazil, Pope Benedict XVI said extramarital unions were a “plague” and that the bill would promote sexual immorality. Many centrist and center–right political leaders, including former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, attended the rally.
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