The Vatican expressed fresh criticism of gay marriages today, just days before Pope Benedict XVI visits Spain, where same sex marriage is legal.

The document, produced by the Pontifical Council for the Family, titled Family and Human Procreation, sets out doctrines on the relationship between family and reproduction.

It condemns contraception abortion and artificial insemination as well as same sex marriage, which are all described as a threat.

The document said: “The human being has the right to be generated, not produced, to come to life not in virtue of an artificial process but of a human act in the full sense of the term: the union between a man and a woman.”

“Procreation is the means of transmitting life by the loving union of man and woman,” and it “must be truly human.” This means that it must be the “fruit of the actions of man,” and the “fruit of a human act, free, rational, and responsible for the transmission of life. … The unitive act of man and woman cannot be separated from its connatural dimension, which is that of procreation and which makes responsible paternity and maternity possible.

“Only on this personal basis can conjugal morality be understood.”

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who will meet the Pope, supports gay marriage as well as laws making divorce easier.