The Italian European Union justice commissioner designate, under fire for his views on homosexuality, said Thursday he still wished to join the commission but not at the cost of his "religious and moral beliefs," according to a report from Agence France-Presse. "I have no intention of giving up my mandate, but I am sticking to my views, and I will not change them for a job," Rocco Buttiglione told the Italian news agency ANSA. "I have already said several times that if I have to choose between the European Commission and my religious and moral beliefs, I would choose the latter," he added.
An EU parliamentary commission in a nonbinding vote Monday narrowly rejected Buttiglione's nomination as justice commissioner because he said at his confirmation hearings that homosexuality is a sin and the role of women is to have children. The 56-year-old archconservative Catholic is the Italian minister for European affairs in the government of right-wing prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. The incoming EU commission president, Portugal's Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, backs his entire 25-member team ahead of the October 27 vote by the entire European Parliament. EU legislators have to vote the entire team up or down and cannot reject individual nominees. The commission is set to take office on November 1.