The words 'father' and 'mother' would be dropped from official documents in France under a proposal aimed at legalizing same-sex marriage.
The proposal would also only allow the word "parents" in what would be identical marriage ceremonies for heterosexual and same-sex couples, according to The Daily Telegraph, which reported that Catholics were "outraged" and said that Pope Benedict XVI had called on French bishops to fight the proposed law.
In opposition to the change, the newspaper said leading French Catholics published a "Prayer for France" that read, "Children should not be subjected to adults' desires and conflicts, so they can fully benefit from the love of their mother and father."
Under the draft law being proposed "marriage is a union of two people, of different or the same gender". Both heterosexual and homosexual couples would have the same rights to adopt, as well.
Reuters said the French government has announced plans to legalize same-sex marriage, which polls say has a 65 percent rate of support, in early 2013. "Same-sex and heterosexual civil unions, with fewer rights than marriage, have been legal since 1999," the article said.
The change in language would apply only to government legal documents.
Officials are chiming in on both sides, according to Fox News, which quoted a conversation Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, the head of the French Catholic Church, had with Christian RFC radio last week: "Gay marriage would herald a complete breakdown in society. This could have innumerable consequences. Afterward they will want to create couples with three or four members. And after that, perhaps one day the taboo of incest will fall," he reportedly said.
The Fox report also quoted Justice Minister Christiane Taubira talking to France's Catholic newspaper, La Croix, in favor of the change: "Who is to say that a heterosexual couple will bring up a child better than a homosexual couple, that they will guarantee the best conditions for the child’s development?"
The law is expected to be presented to the French Cabinet at the end of October.
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