I am Catholic and I am Pro Gay Marriage


Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 9.29.17 AM I have sat on this post for months, too terrified to actually publish it. But when my 17 year old cousin committed suicide a few weeks ago, possibly in part because he was struggling with being gay, it was the last straw. This post was originally about me being pro-gay marriage, but  I will not tolerate any kind of homophobia around me or this blog, and I am going to speak out about it until I am blue in the face.

The last time I saw my cousin was when our whole family was together. I am the eldest cousin on that side of my family and the only girl, and all the boy cousins were ragging on each other saying, “You’re gay”, “That’s gay”, “f*gg&t this and that” and on and on.  I literally stood up, got all of their attention and said you have no idea who is gay in this room and hasn’t come out yet.  You have no idea how powerful and hurtful your words can be, so please stop. Almost everyone, except my cousin who killed himself and my husband, blew me off and went on with their behavior. I will always carry the guilt that I was too busy to really see my cousin and see how bad he was hurting, but I can at least sleep well knowing that I stood up and said this is not ok.

So not only is it time for gay marriage to be legal, it’s time to stop the full on bullying of gay people and also the seemingly innocent gay jokes, the “That’s gay” comments, and all forms of socially acceptable homophobia and bullying.

But back to my original post about me being in support of gay marriage.

Deep breaths.  Here goes nothing.

Yes, I am Catholic. I believe everything the Catholic Church stands in regards to ideals for living life, except gay marriage. I think it is a human rights issue and it is not OK to tell someone they are not allowed to get married. I do like the new Pope (Argentina represent!), but am doubtful he would ever allow gays to get married in the church. But I would love for him to at least say that all humans at least have the right to civil marriages.  Thankfully, Catholics, unlike some Christian religions, do not believe that it is a sin to be gay or that “saving” a gay person will change them – it’s the procreation part they take issue with.

It’s good to know I’m not alone. 62% of Catholics are pro gay marriage. Some are pretty serious about it.

My Chick-fil-A is crap food post really stirred the pot on the M+BL Facebook page when I posted about it. I don’t watch the news much, so I was pretty shocked to find out that there were people who were actually happy to find out that Chick-fil-A supports anti-LGBT groups. I understand people wanting their right to free speech, but this is not what this debate is about.

It’s about human rights. I don’t care what you believe in, whether it’s politics or religion. I truly love each and every one of you no matter what.

I see the good in all people, and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest when someone believes something different than me.

I love learning about different cultures and religions, I love to travel and I love to talk to people. Everyone and everything fascinates me.

But if you are mean to gay people, then we can not be friends. If you don’t speak up when people are saying gay jokes, then we can’t be friends.  No more keeping my mouth shut to be nice and liked.  No more teenagers are going to think that dying is the only way out from the pain of people being so mean and cruel.

If you don’t agree with abortion, or gay marriage or whatever, that is totally fine. Or even think that it is a mortal sin. I get it, I really do.  But spreading hate into the world isn’t going to help anything or anyone.

It is never OK to spew hate and fear into the world because of your beliefs. Let people go on about their business and do what they want, stay focused on yourself and sticking to the morals and beliefs that you believe.

Jesus is about Love and God is Love, and I think if he were here today, he would be disgusted with some people’s actions towards other humans. I pray that in my lifetime we will look back on this time in history and scratch our heads and think, “How could we have done that? How could we have treated someone else like that?” Just like we do now, looking back on slavery and segregation.

So here it is, on the record: Yes, I know I just said I am Catholic. I am, but to me, this is a human rights issue. Anyone should be allowed to marry whoever they want without being abused, ridiculed, and ostracized from the community. Same sex or several people, I don’t care. It’s your basic human right to live the way you want to live if you are not harming anyone else. And a woman marrying a woman is not harming anyone.

I have talked about this at length with some of my Catholic friends and I love this quote from my friend Jen, from Ecological Babies:

I believe God created all types of people and that if someone was born attracted to someone of the same gender, then that is how He created them. If someone loves someone enough to want to stay in a committed, loving relationship for the rest of their life, then that is a close to the divine nature of God (perfect love) as it gets.  So what if their parts aren’t compatible for procreation.  Does that mean that sterile men and women shouldn’t be married?  Basically, I think it comes down to a respect for life and the dignity of the human being.

pro gay marriage

One of my closest friends is a lesbian. She has been “married” to her wife for over a decade. They have a small child, the same age as my daughter. They are some of the most committed married people and devoted parents that I know. This couple is as devoted to each other and staying married and keeping their family together just like I am. They go to counseling, work on themselves, and do whatever they need to do to make their marriage work and keep their family together.  How is that any different than any other marriage? It’s not! They are exactly the same as my family!  They are pro marriage just as much as I am.  They are open and willing to more children to grow their family, just like us. How could they not be respecting procreation, when they so beautifully brought their daughter into the world and are loving parents to a child of God.

My plea to you is this: Be kind. Send love into the world in all your actions. Lord knows I am not perfect, and I have let anger and my ego get the best of me at times, but on a whole, my life’s mission has been about improving my life and the lives of other families and spreading love and light into the world. Before you say something, before you do something, stop and think, “Is this spreading love into the world?”

Like one of my favorite author’s, Louise Hay say’s, Love is the great miracle cure. Let’s try and remember that as we go about being human beings to other human beings.

 


About the Author

Hiya! I'm Stephanie. Mama and Baby Love is all about helping mothers on their own personal health and healing journey and enjoying life along the way. You can learn more about me and what I'm all about. Sign up for my newsletter for more tips, info and inspiration!

Comments

  1. AMEN! This is PERFECT! I am also Catholic and I feel the exact same way. LOVE is LOVE.

  2. Great post! Good for you for standing up for what you believe in.

  3. Thank you so much for your post! I am Catholic as well. I don’t care that the Church doesn’t allow gay marriage. That is their choice, I’ve read the theology behind it, and I can be supportive of that choice (after all, I chose to get confirmed knowing their stance). However, I was livid when my diocee was the largest donor supporting a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in the state. The Church has no right to dictate what the government and non-Catholics do, nor should it be involved in the government in any way (especially if, within the same year, it is going to insist it be exempt from laws).

    We are called to love everyone and withholding a civil right is not doing so.

  4. Thank you for writing this post. It says everything beautifully and perfectly. :)

  5. You are brave to say what you have in this post. I commend you for that :) I, too, am Catholic, and often struggle with gay marriage as well. I love people with same sex attraction just as I love everyone. I am open to everything about them as a person just as I am to anyone else.

    I do struggle, though, with gay marriage. Which I don’t think makes my love for them and their souls any less. I don’t think we can put the two together. I love them as people, and if they choose to sin (just as any other unchaste heterosexual couple), my love for them does not lessen. But I still struggle with gay marriage.

    I don’t even really know why. I guess because my Church is telling me one thing, the Church that I say I will stand behind with every ounce of my being because of the Truest and Purest gift she is from our Lord. I think that’s where it comes from. My humanity, which leads me astray, which leads me to sin, which leads me often away from our Lord, is yearning for gay marriage to be legal because I believe all humans should have the same rights.

    So I’m there with you. I rock the boat occasionally. But more often than not, I am confused in my own head and heart. I love each and every one of my brothers and sisters here on Earth, I do. I love the Church because it has taught me that – to love with every ounce of my being – and it reminds me to do that every single day of my life.

  6. I am so sorry to hear about your relative. I do believe that the spread of hate over any issue is nothing but detrimental to society. I am still Catholic but stopped going to my church after many of the homilies and prayers preached for certain political (I think anti gay) voting. I do believe that there is hope in this country and people are beginning to realize that love and compassion are the most important lessons our children should learn.

  7. Growing up in cultures where sexuality is taught as a “choice” I find Church teaching (that it’s how you are made) refreshing – though definitely challenging.

    One of the good things about being Catholic and following the teaching that your sexuality is something given to you by God (and not a choice) is that we do have the opportunity to look at this issue from a greater number of angles. Some of my most conservative Catholic friends surprise me on their stance on this issue – they simply don’t want the government thinking it can change Church teaching (only the Pope gets to do that for us), but are often incredibly supportive of civil unions, etc. as long as it’s accepted that to us (Catholics) change in doctrine can only come from within our religion (and that we’re guaranteed religious freedom on this issue). That change may never happen within the Church in our life time, but the Catholic Church is not exactly known for changing at warp speed.

    In the end I too believe that I can support my religious freedom and civil equality in the same breath. Thank you for opening up the discussion.

  8. Marie-Christine says:

    Love this post, Stephanie. It must be so hard to speak out “against” your Church.

    Very sorry to hear about your cousin as well. My uncle took his own life for the same reason, long before I was born. I am not religious, but my family is devoutly French-Catholic. From what I’ve heard, it was just too much for my uncle to be “bad” in the eyes of his family and church. Breaks my heart, and I know that my grand-parents blame themselves for his death. They now fully support gay rights.

  9. Thank you for posting this. I am so sorry that your cousin was feeling so much pain.
    I am also a little ashamed to say that I believed (before this post) that being catholic= being anti gay. I guess it was just the Catholics I was around, your post puts the Catholic religion in a better light to me.
    Thank you for enlightening me on this, and many other subjects. I love this site.

  10. I went to an incredibly tiny, private Catholic college and lived on campus with nuns and other members of the church. It was a wonderful experience and one of the most eye-opening. During a ‘Theologies of Justice’ class Sister Prochraska discussed the issue of gay relationships and marriage and her belief on them. We had a number of students in the seminar who were vehemently opposed to it, citing religious text in support of their hatred.

    She simply replied that it wasn’t our place to judge. Only He knows what path he has in mind for us and that no one’s path should be led by hatred, violence or judgement. We are meant to love each other, flaws and all, and when it comes time to meet Him, only then and only He can weigh in on the way we’ve lived our life.

    As someone who struggled with religion for most of my life, I commend, respect and thank you for taking a stance on this issue and what it means to your faith! (And prayers, condolences and thoughts for your family at this time).

  11. I am so sorry to hear about your family’s loss. This was a beautiful, heartfelt post. Your sincerity really came through and brought tears to my eyes. You never know what impact your words can have. Just like your supportive words hopefully gave your cousin a moment, a glimmer of hope the last time you saw him, your words here have the power to reach so many and possibly plant a seed of love and tolerance. Thank you!

  12. I love it. I’m also Catholic who has gay family members. Now I am being asked by my daughter about girls marrying girls and boys marrying boys. My response to a 5 year old was that you marry who you fall in love with and God says who you fall in love with. I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m so sorry for your loss. What a tragedy.

  13. I actually just wrote a post about this myself. As a fellow Catholic who supports the legalization of gay marriage, I agree it takes courage to speak about it.

    My personal opinion is that it is not inconsistent to believe in Church teaching while also believing that the US government has the responsibility to make this country safe and free for all who live here. I understand the arguments for laws supporting traditional marriage, but I reject them because they don’t reflect the reality in which we live. I support wholeheartedly the Church’s teachings and efforts to speak Truth in the public square just as I support wholeheartedly the right of my family members and friends to follow the promptings of their conscience towards marriage.

    As long as conscience protections are in place to make sure that religious individuals whose values conflict with gay marriage are not forced to violate their beliefs, then I see the trend towards normalization of homosexuality as a positive force that can only promote compassion and inclusion where there has previously been violence and ostracism.

    My prayers and sympathies for your cousin’s parents and your whole family. God Bless.

  14. Nice job! Great post and thank you for standing up for human rights!!!

  15. Jennifer says:

    I feel like this was a very well written post. I am not Catholic (but do hold a lot of respect for the Catholic church), but feel that everyone no matter what their sexual orientation may be should always be treated with love, kindness, and respect. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your cousin. What a difficult thing to see. I am so glad that you have come out and spoken on what is really important, recognizing God’s love for everyone. My views on gay marriage are some ways similar, but diverge on a few points. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and while my church opposes gay marriage, I have studied it out quite extensively and come to my own personal views. I am not a supporter of gay marriage, but along with my church, I do believe that no one should be mocked, hated, or in anyway unkindly because of their sexual orientation. I hope this didn’t come across as confrontational. I had no intention of being obstinate, just wanted to share my thoughts on the matter.

  16. I am so sorry for your loss, Stephanie. Anti-gay people really make me angry… I get flung to a place I hate to be and do everything in my strength to not go to, when I see the hate people have about being gay. It just boggles my mind, how someone who claims to love in God’s name, can turn around and be so cruel. It makes me sick. I appreciate this post, and think more people need to voice this kind of love and acceptance. My very best friend’s little brother is gay, and my heart has broken time and time again, witnessing the struggles he has had to deal w/ b/c of other people. I watched a video on youtube that made me sob hysterically… I believe this is the correct link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFnV3vwqD0

  17. Angelina says:

    Salude! Stephanie you are not alone. I have always been a child of God and usually a good Catholic, lol! There are, however, stances that the church takes that I don’t believe in. Does this then make me a bad Catholic…I think not. What it makes me is a beautiful, independent, sometimes opinionated, free spirited creation of God. God respects the decisions we make even the bad ones because we learn from them. Why would he give us “free will” to only say that we are limited in what we can choose. Love is love….no matter what form it comes in, and if I know nothing else I know that to love and be loved in return is to love God and be loved by him in return.

  18. Brittney says:

    Stephanie,

    Your post truly gave me chills (more than once!). I cannot tell you how much I appreciate strong, caring individuals such as yourself standing up for what is right, no matter who is shouting back. I am gay and have been “married” to my partner for 7 wonderful years. I have always respected the rights of others to disagree with my opinions on life and family, but loosing a family member to such unnecessary pain is so heart wrenching. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family and I hope you are able to find peace. While the loss of your nephew can never be softened, take heart in knowing that your actions and the actions of others like you help the evolution of public opinion, saving countless other lives of those struggling with acceptance. You have made a lifetime reader out of me, and thank you again for your kindness. – Brittney

  19. I’ve recently decided to go back to my Catholic roots and try to be open minded about the institution and certain parts of it. However, as a person who is a strong believer in gay rights and women’s right to choose, I was finding it difficult, to say, “fit in”. I felt like I was in a way betraying my sister (who is gay), I felt like I was going against everything I have ever believed in. So finding this article really helped me.Everything you spoke about was so true and it really made me happy to know that I can be a Catholic with my views. Thank you so much

  20. First off, I want to offer my condolences to you, Stephanie. I am so, so sorry your cousin was subjected to that kind of treatment, which is terribly wrong. Thank you for standing up and speaking out against it.

    That being said, I wanted to share my views with you all. As a practicing, conservative Catholic, I can’t help but be concerned when I read about people who haven’t seen the whole of Catholic teaching revealed in its beauty.

    As a Church, Catholics are taught to not hate gay people. That’s what the Church says in the Catechism of the Catholic Church when it reads in paragraph 2358: “They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”

    This may not seem to be the case, simply because there are people who do hate gay people (and act on it). Those are the ones we see. Some of them probably identify as Catholic, but so do a whole lot of people who don’t actually follow the church. We’re all terribly faulty humans, aren’t we?

    No matter what our sexual orientation is, the Catholic Church calls all to a life of chastity. For single people, that means abstinence until marriage. For married folks, that means being faithful to your spouse. And as a homosexual person, it means the same thing. Being pure doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. It just means that you order your sexual desires in the right way. Homosexual people are not called to the same “love” as heterosexual individuals, but have a universal call to holiness like all of us – and with that, obedience to the church Jesus Christ founded. I know there’s so much more to be learned, so never stop reading about all this. I’ve got to remember that too.

    Here’s an article I posted on it recently: http://asingledropintheocean.com/2013/08/13/same-love-more-like-the-same-call/

    I would love, Love, LOVE to discuss this further with any of you who are interested! Feel free to drop by my blog and leave me a note: http://asingledropintheocean.com/contact-laura/

    God bless you all in your faith journey!

    Laura

  21. Trish Varnum says:

    Wow! You give me hope that the Anglican communion can truly find its way. I’m so sorry for the loss of your cousin. When you stood up to the cousins, you did more for him in that one act than you will ever know.

    I found your blog via a pin from Pinterest and I’m glad I did!

    Blessings to you and your family

    Trish

  22. Mandy White says:

    Stephanie,
    I have been enjoying myself reading your blogs…food, recipes, mommy stuff (I am a mother to 5 and 1 in Heaven), and they all fit me like a glove…but this one…chew, this one got me. I am sensitive when it comes to homosexual topics. A few years ago my twin sister left her husband of 12 years and came out of the closet. She had been living a lie to fulfill a social norm. I too, am intolerant to homophobic BS! ….your message here was refreshing and honest, and appreciated. If you haven’t heard Maclemore’s song, Same Love, you should find it on YouTube and listen to it. It inspired me to write a confessional poem about my own struggle with sexual identity because of abuses I had suffered most of my life. Anyway..good stuff here. Thank you for keeping your blog real! God bless, Mandy

  23. you are courageous for publicly proclaiming your true beliefs which go against the teachings of our church. Both my husband and I grew up in large Catholic families. We have a nephew who came out to the family years ago and he is accepted by all of us. My husband came up with a wonderful solution to this issue that has sadly divided families and caused tragedy as in your family – I am soo very sorry for your loss! My husband feels perhaps to meet the requirements of being legally acknowledged as a couple have it called a civil union. Everyone including Catholics and other religions should have a civil union which would be recognized by the government – the separation of church and state. A marriage should be applied to a religious ceremony.

  24. I too am catholic and my brother came out about 2 yrs ago. It was so very hard for him, and hard on my mom. But we were all taught to love one another and her rationalization for the initial upset was that she (and all of us) would have to work harder to help him. His life will be harder; but luckily he has our family’s full support. It took great courage to tell us and it takes greater courage to stand up to people who can’t see the difference.

  25. Thank you for sharing this opinion on gay marriage and being Catholic. I’m only fifteen, but find myself struggling hold to this opinion while I’m in religious classes and at the mass. The town I live in is very accepting to gay residents and is considered a gay town and yet, there is a small group of very conservative people in our little church right in the center of this town. My religious studies teacher and a kid in my class are very homophobic and basically tell us that whatever the church teaches you must believe. Over the past few years, I’ve found my opinions on this issue and others drastically clashing with theirs. It seems like I am the only one there who sees anything wrong with denying a group of people the right to marry based on their sexuality. I don’t even want to go anymore sometimes because it makes me upset having to hear that during the sermon and in class week after week. I love God, but going to church shouldn’t make me so upset. I myself am not gay but I have many friends who are and they struggle with kids like the one in my class everyday. Anyway, thank you for sharing this because it’s nice to know that there are other adults within the same religion as me who feel the same. I don’t feel so alone anymore.

    • Thanks so much for sharing Kayla. I love going to Mass and many other things about being Catholic, but I just ignore the stuff I don’t agree with. And while that technically that makes me not a true Catholic, because I don’t agree and believe with every single thing the Catholic church teaches, I don’t care. I care more about human rights than being a perfect Catholic. And I figure no one will ever not let me go to mass just because I believe in human rights for all. :) Lots of love to you.

  26. I am so glad you shared this because it was absolutely amazing to read. I am only 16 years old and catholic as well. My family and I attend church, and I go to a catholic school. But even though I agree with many of the teachings of the Catholic Church, I have always had difficulty accepting that they believe marriage is only valid between a man and a woman. I struggle with this because I believe, like you and many others, that if two people love each other and are fully committed to spending the rest of their lives together, they should be able to get married. How is it our place to dictate whether or not they can be legally married as a symbol of their love and commitment to each other? I know that one of the main reasons the church is against it is because same sex couples cannot procreate through sex, but then why should sterile heterosexual couples be allowed to marry? There is always adoption or surrogacy for same sex couples if they wish to start a family, and those families are just as beautiful as anyone else’s. Every person deserves the right to marry whomever they choose, and it’s great to see that I am not alone in feeling this way. Thank you so much for sharing, and it’s really good to know that even though I am a teenager, there are older people who agree with this.

Trackbacks

  1. […] I am Catholic and I am Pro Gay Marriage —> Mama and Baby Lovewhat I love about this: ”My plea to you is this: Be kind. Send love into the world in all your actions.”When Your Temper Scares You —> Lisa-Jo Bakerwhat I love about this: ”I teach them what it looks like to say sorry; down on my knees and eye to eye, I say it. These words that can stick in the throat but that are like sacred, unexpected treasure when you place them in the tiny hands of your children.” […]

Speak Your Mind

*