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Vatican historian says church is not losing same-sex marriage battle

Published: Monday, Aug. 3 2015 1:19 p.m. MDT

Pope Benedict XVI celebrates a mass to commemorate cardinals and bishops who died in the past year, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) (Andrew Medichini, ASSOCIATED PRESS) Pope Benedict XVI celebrates a mass to commemorate cardinals and bishops who died in the past year, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) (Andrew Medichini, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

A Vatican newspaper says the Catholic Church hasn't lost its fight against same-sex marriage despite setbacks in the United States and Europe.

Religion News Service reports that historian Lucetta Scaraffia wrote in L'Osservatore Romano that the church is the only institution capable of defending the traditional family.

The article comes after voters in the U.S. upheld gay marriage in referendums in four states. On Monday, Spain's Constitutional Court rejected a repeal of the country's 2005 gay marriage law. In France, legislation has been introduced to allow gay couples to marry and adopt children.

“You could say that the church, on this level, is bound to lose,” writes Scaraffia. “But this is not the case.”

She says the church has drawn support and admiration from non-Catholics for its opposition to gay marriage and abortion. She wrote that the church's "politically correct ideology" on the traditional family is supported by the United Nations, among others.

Pope Benedict XVI is framed by a Vatican Swiss Guard as he celebrates a mass to commemorate cardinals and bishops who died in the past year, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) (Andrew Medichini, ASSOCIATED PRESS) Pope Benedict XVI is framed by a Vatican Swiss Guard as he celebrates a mass to commemorate cardinals and bishops who died in the past year, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) (Andrew Medichini, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

An analysis of public opinion surveys by the Pew Research Center found that while opposition to same-sex marriage is falling across the nation, it remains strong in Southern states.

"A majority (56 percent) in the Central Southern states such as Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas oppose same-sex marriage, while about a third (35 percent) favors it. The divide is more narrow in the South Atlantic states such as Florida, Georgia, Virginia and the Carolinas (48 percent oppose, 42 percent favor)," Pew reported.

Ballot measures legalizing same-sex marriage were approved by voters this week in Maine, Maryland and Washington state, all located in regions where public support for same-sex marriage is strongest. Voters rejected a ballot measure in Minnesota to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage. A plurality of voters (46 percent) support same-sex marriage in the Midwest.

A majority of voters (51 percent) support same-sex marriage in the Mountain West, where all states but New Mexico have either constitutional or statutory provisions defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

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