The Fight Over Gay Rights

PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP

CELEBRATION: Gay men in Madrid party after a draft law allowing same-sex marriages is introduced.

Rocco Buttiglione could hardly have anticipated the firestorm he was about to unleash. Appearing earlier this month at what should have been a routine hearing before a European Parliament committee, the E.U. Commissioner — designate for Justice, Freedom and Security was asked about discrimination against homosexuals. In response Buttiglione, a close friend and a biographer of Pope John Paul II, cited his Roman Catholic faith and said he considered homosexuality a "sin" and marriage an institution intended to give women "the right to have children and the protection of a man." What happened next was anything but routine. Many committee members...

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