Friday, June 2, 2023

    OCU Synod stands against Bill 9103 on “registered partnerships”

    Having considered at its meeting on March 28, 2023, the report on the draft law tabled in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on establishing the so-called registered partnership institute in Ukraine (9103), the Orthodox Church of Ukraine considers it categorically unacceptable.

    Under the guise of a “registered partnership”, the said project proposes to actually legalize in Ukraine so-called same-sex marriages. This contradicts the Constitution, which states (Article 51): “Marriage is based on the free consent of a woman and a man. Each of the spouses has equal rights and responsibilities in marriage and family,” says the decision of the OCU Synod.

    Together with other Churches and religious organizations of Ukraine, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is outraged by the fact that the said project proposes to equate “registered partnerships” with marriage, calling them “family union” and referring in many cases to the norms of the Family Code.

    In addition, taking into account similar trends observed in other countries, the Synod “can predict that in the event of the adoption of the said bill, the next step of the ‘same-sex marriage’ lobbyists will be to initiate the possibility of adoption of children by same-sex members of ‘registered partnerships,’ with the extremely negative implications for the formation of these children’s personality as they will be deprived of their natural right to upbringing in a full-fledged family – with both a father and a mother.”

    Numerous studies of similar practices in other countries confirm the negative consequences of raising children in such “same-sex families” with an increased risk of psychological disorders.

    According to the National Security Strategy of Ukraine, approved by the President’s Decree of September 14, 2020, No. 392, the existing demographic crisis is among the threats to the national security and national interests of Ukraine. At the same time, the reduction in the birth rate and the reproductive health issues are among the factors that undermine national stability, human, economic and military potential, threatening the future of Ukraine. It is quite obvious that the legalization of same-sex “registered partnerships” will in no way contribute to overcoming the demographic crisis, in particular due to the further destruction of social morality, devaluation of the family institution, and the natural inability of same-sex couples to have children.

    The problem of responding to the demographic crisis is especially acute in connection with Russia’s ongoing armed aggression against Ukraine, as a result of which thousands of children in Ukraine lost their father and (or) mother and became orphans, almost 500 children died, and almost a thousand were injured. At the same time, the wave of migration of Ukrainian families with children abroad further complicates Ukraine’s demographic prospects, given the challenges of post-war reconstruction of the devastated infrastructure.

    The occupiers also deported to Russia thousands of Ukrainian children, which is a war crime and an act of genocide.

    “Under these conditions, we consider it immoral and unacceptable to disparage the value of marriage as a union of a man and a woman, which is protected by the Constitution of Ukraine, and the family created based on marriage, which, according to the Family Code of Ukraine, is of fundamental importance to society,” the decision says.

    The general position of the religious community of Ukraine, including the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, regarding the issue of same-sex relations is publicly attested in the Declaration of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations “On a negative attitude towards the phenomenon of homosexuality and attempts to legalize so-called same-sex marriages (registration of same-sex partnerships)” (May 15, 2007), which remains unchanged because it is based on the norms of the unchanging Divine Revelation.

    “In our opinion, the practice of using the period of martial law, which entails limiting the opportunities for the expression of public opinion and demonstration of protest, to submit to the parliament a n ambiguous draft law, which aims to significantly alter the legal field of Ukraine and the perception of public morality, is unacceptable and outrageous. It contradicts the Constitution of Ukraine and the natural law established by God, despising traditional Christian and human values of the Ukrainian people,” the Synod says.

    “We are deeply convinced that now in Ukraine valuable foundations are being laid both for the Victory of our state in this war and for its further restoration and development. It is quite obvious that one of these foundations should be a healthy family, which determines the need for the formation and implementation of a state policy focused on supporting families, strengthening marital relations, and responsible parenthood and motherhood. Therefore, any initiatives that contradict this and pose threats both to the institution of the family and to the value foundations of Ukrainian society as a whole, its moral and spiritual foundations, are unacceptable,” reads the decision.

    The Synod also categorically rejects as groundless and manipulative any attempts to devalue the position of the religious community of Ukraine by artificially linking it with Russian propaganda templates, which appeal to “traditional values”. The protection of moral and spiritual values, on the subject of which Russian propaganda tries to parasitize, has nothing in common with the actual defense of Christian and universal moral values, traditional for the Ukrainian people and enshrined in the Bible. “Should we destroy the system of public and state institutions, reject our own traditions, culture and morality just on the basis that something similar exists or is declared in the Russian state? Obviously, that would be nonsense,” the Synod believes.

    “Taking into account all of the above, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine calls for the draft law No. 9103 on the institution of ‘registered partnership’ (authored by I.R. Sovsun and others) to be withdrawn from consideration and rejected as contradicting Article 51 of the Constitution of Ukraine, a natural law established by God, despising Christian and universal values traditional for the Ukrainian people, posing a threat to the demographic situation of Ukraine, moral and psychological health of children and their right to education in a family created based on the marriage of a man and a woman,” the document concludes.