In his New Year's address at the Vatican to almost 180 diplomats from all over the globe, Pope Benedict XVI announced that gay marriage, among other issues, threatened family traditions and weakened "the future of humanity itself," Reuter.com reports.

He said "the pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman" and also mentioned the need to educate children using certain "settings."

"This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself," he is quoted as saying.

Among countries which have legalized gay marriage are Spain and The Netherlands. It is also legal in six states in the US, the most recent being New York in June.

New York Archbishop Timothy Nolan, president of the US Bishops Conference, wrote a letter to President Barack Obama in September protesting the government's decision not to ban gay marriage. In it, he said this support could "precipitate a national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions."

In the Philippines, eight lesbian and gay couples got married in Baguio City in June despite protests from the Catholic Church, ABS-CBNNews.com reports.

Meanwhile, President Noynoy Aquino said during an open forum before the Asia Society in New York in September that consenting gay adults can always make the choice to marry "so long as it doesn't hurt anybody else," Philstar.com reports.

How about you, FNites? What's your stand on gay marriage? Are you for or against it? Take our poll to let us know!

(Photo via Wiki Commons)

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