A Chilean Bishop has warned domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian couples in the country will bring the “destruction of human beings”.

PinkNews reported Juan Ignacio González, the Catholic Bishop of San Bernardo, warned a hearing on the proposed bill about the apparent dangers of recognised relationships for same-sex attracted couples.

He said that the proposed bill “brings the destruction of human beings and, although they deny it, destruction to social and family peace among men”.

LGBT rights group Fundación Iguales, responded to the claims and said the Bishop’s comments were apocalyptic.

“The majority of Catholics in Chile realise the unjust situation that sexual minorities live with,” Fundación Iguales president Pablo Simonetti said.

“We should clearly differentiate the opinion of the Catholic hierarchy and the Catholic people.”

Relationship recognition for gay couples has become a politically divisive issue in the Latin American state. Marriage equality was heatedly debated in the recently televised presidential nominee elections for the Chilean Christian Democrat party.

Former two-term Peñalolén City Mayor, Claudio Orrego said in the televised debate that he supported the possibility of civil unions although backed away from the issue of gay marriage.

His opponent, Senator Ximena Rincón, responded that she opposed all discrimination and said gay couples should be allowed to marry.

The Chilean Government has made it clear that introducing civil union legislation would be among its top priorities.

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