A Chilean Roman Catholic bishop testifying before lawmakers considering a civil unions law has claimed that gay marriage “destroys humans.”

Juan Ignacio Gonzalez, the bishop of San Bernardo, offered his testimony to the Senate's Committee on the Constitution considering creation of the Life Partner Agreement (Acuerdo de Vida en Pareja, or AVP), which would allow gay and lesbian couples who have lived together for more than one year to register their relationship with a notary.

Gonzalez told the lawmakers that “this position leads to the destruction of human beings and although they deny it to the destruction of social peace.”

In 2011, President Sebastian Pinera sent to Congress his Life Partner proposal, angering leaders of his center-right coalition who responded by proposing an amendment to the nation's constitution banning gay marriage. Representative Gustavo Hasbun said he acted because he fears that Pinera's proposal could lead to full marriage rights for gay couples in Chile.

“It is not necessary to create this parallel institution because this will weaken, in one way or another, marriage,” Hasbun said.