The Good Gay Catholic
We will still post on this site for now and all of our other pages will remain here for now. Thanks!
Thank you for visiting our site! We want to make our primary blog's home at blogger.com so please head that way:
The Good Gay Catholic
We will still post on this site for now and all of our other pages will remain here for now. Thanks!
A US News poll asks: "Should Children Learn Gay History in Public School?"
California recently passed a law that will require school curricula to include the contributions of LGBT people in history in the same way that history classes are required to discuss the roles of African-Americans, Native Americans and other minority groups.
Unfortunately there are some Catholics (along with most conservatives) who oppose this law because they fear children will be exposed to morally questionable material and there will be no policy for parents to opt-out.
The California Catholic Conference posted this message from Archbishop José H. Gomez. In it he says:
"...Senate Bill 48, would require school textbooks to teach about the sexual orientations of figures in American history. This amounts to the government rewriting history books based on pressure-group politics. It is also another example of the government interfering with parents’ rights to be their children’s primary educators."
This law is about including important and accurate historical information regarding the contributions of LGBT people in society. Are those who oppose the law afraid that kids will learn there were actually some gay people who have made a positive difference in the world? The fear is probably that kids exposed to this information will think being gay is OK and therefore will have no problem engaging in homosexual activity if they so desire.
The fact is, the new law has nothing to do with the morality of homosexual activity. If some Catholics are afraid of pro-gay indoctrination in schools, they can read this section from the new law's text:
"A governing board shall not adopt any instructional materials for use in the schools that, in its determination, contain: (a) Any matter reflecting adversely upon persons on the basis of race or ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, nationality, sexual orientation, occupation, or because of a characteristic listed in Section 220. (b) Any sectarian or denominational doctrine or propaganda contrary to law. (Source: http://e-lobbyist.com/gaits/text/345035)
Note the last part: No "doctrine or propaganda."
The real issue here is that there are young people who go through all 12 grades who hear not one word mentioned about LGBT people. For some of them, all they know is the hateful slurs they hear in the hallways or from their families.
Check this out:
"While LGBT people represent a sizable and important part of the state, mention of the LGBT community’s role in California history and contemporary society is virtually non-existent in textbooks and other school instructional materials.
In schools where LGBT people are included in classroom discussions, results have been positive. The Preventing School Harassment Survey in California found that schools where the majority of youth report having learned about LGBT people in the curriculum, only 11% of students report being bullied, but that number more than doubles to 24% if the majority of students in a school say they haven’t learned about LGBT people.iii
Furthermore, the 2003 Preventing School Harassment Survey found that students who have learned about LGBT people at school were more likely to feel they have a voice at school and make positive contributions at school." -(Source: http://www.eqca.org/site/pp.asp?c=kuLRJ9MRKrH&b=6451639 bottom of page, "Resources": SB 48 Fact Sheet (.pdf))
Catholics ought to support this law. Section 2358 of The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
"They (homosexuals) 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."
Even if you believe homosexual sex is wrong, the California law is not about that. It is about compassion and respect. The only "rewriting of textbooks" that's going to happen is going to be the adding-in of an accurate history which has been excluded due to the fear and discrimination that our society has against homosexuals.
I am very sorry that there are Catholic parents worried about their kids learning some LGBT history. Learning this history will not affect the sexuality of your child.
This history is not about promoting gay sex either. It is about people who have shaped history, who were gay, and they deserve to be included in the textbooks.
A gay Catholic, Tom Sheridan, founder of the Sheridan Group was sought out by Catholic Charities USA to team up in the fight against poverty.
Both organizations say the partnership is about fighting poverty and has nothing to do with gay activism. Some say however that the partnership goes to show that Catholic Charities USA is still the most supportive of the LGBT community than any other Catholic organization.
Here's the article from Catholic Culture:
The Catholic Church will continue its resistance against the so-called “homosexual agenda” for perhaps a long while to come. But where is the future headed? Though there will be set-backs at times for those pursuing gay-marriage rights, adoption rights, and anti-discrimination laws, the push for change is headed in one direction only: forward in favor of the LGBT community.
The Catholic Church, grounded in deep traditional values, exists in a society of constant change and growth. The benefit of such an institution and spiritual home is that it doesn’t follow the whims and fads of a changing society. Instead it remains firm ground to support the spiritual and moral life of the faithful.
But nothing can stop the forward momentum of change when it is led by people who need that change and will keep fighting until they get it. Gays and lesbians want not to suffer any longer. They want their committed relationships honored and recognized at the same level as straight couples because their love is just as strong. They want equal opportunity to adopt because their vocation to be parents is just as real.
But many Catholics believe the moral obligation thus far is to resist, until the leaders of the Church say otherwise.
Will they say otherwise someday?
As Catholics we believe that the Truth is not something that can just change. But I don’t believe the “Truth” on these matters has been fully understood just yet.
I think the Catholic Church will ever so slowly move along toward a greater understanding of the LGBT inner experience as more gay Catholics speak up – not in a hostile manner but with love and respect for the Church. As time passes and society in general becomes more comfortable with LGBT people, the Church will also become more sensitive to our needs.
I just read these two articles.
Gay Marriage: Theological and Moral Arguments
Catholic Answers Special Report: Gay Marriage
The first is a message from an associate professor of religious studies at the Jesuit, Santa Clara University. The second is a report published online at Catholicanswers.com arguing against same-sex marriage in the traditional Catholic understanding. I respect the traditional Church teaching on marriage but it is quite clear to me that the report provided by Catholicanswers.com is highly misunderstanding, misinturpreting and/or misrepresenting current scientific research on homosexuality. The statistics it reports do not add up to the conclusions it makes. For example: the implied conclusion that homosexuality is evidenced to be a disorder by the fact that far more homosexuals suffer from depression, anxiety, confusion and commit suicide than heterosexuals. I'm dissapointed that such a popular (and often useful) Catholic resource such as Catholic Answers would say this in one of its more "official" reports. The majority of LGBT Catholics who suffer from depression, anxiety, etc. do so because of the lack of acceptance of who they are in their families and communities. See this article for why a gay Catholic might just be depressed.
I am even more shocked that the Catholic Answer's report says: "Statistics reveal that the lives of homosexuals are anything but gay. A more accurate description would paraphrase Thomas Hobbes's vision of life apart from civilization: nasty, lonely, and short."
Will someone please let these particular Catholics in on this little piece of information: Same-sex couples are just as capable of having long-lasting, committed,and joy-filled relationships as straight couples. A relationship that is not built on trust and self-giving is a relationship that will be nasty, lonely, and short. The importance is the quality of the relationship and the character of the individuals, not the gender of the people involved. And there are many, many, many long-lasting and happy same-sex relationships. And many, many,many unhappy straight relationships. I am not arguing here about the morality of same-sex sex. I am talking about committed relationships.
The arguments by the Santa Clara professor are very impressive. I do not propose that a same-sex couple can or should be united in a sacrament. I do however think his points are important to consider.
During the first Mass since the Archdiocese of Boston canceled one planned for next weekend in support of St. Cecilia’s gay and lesbian churchgoers, the Rev. John J. Unni preached a fiery message of unconditional love and what he called “acceptance of all.’’ -- Priest says all are welcome in his church
Social Justice has its roots in the Christian tradition. Not just being kind when the opportunity arises but actively seeking justice and doing works of charity is what Jesus told us we should do. How important it is to know what is required of oneself to be a true Christian and to truly follow what Christ asks of us!
Yet I find it hard to fulfill my potential as a Catholic – to be the justice-seeker Christ calls me to be. Do you have this problem?
Perhaps you are the victim of injustice?
Sometimes it takes being a victim first to realize the hardships of others. Often I feel like any suffering or injustice I’ve faced is actually a method that God uses to teach me. He gives me a taste of suffering so that I can better understand what its like when others suffer. That way I am inspired with compassion for them. I can’t say I’ve done all that much in terms of seeking justice. I’ve marched in a few protests. I’ve spoken my mind here and there. But I know this is just a little compared to what the world needs from each of us. In what ways have you sought justice or been actively compassionate?
When it comes to seeking rights for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) people, what should Catholics do? That’s a tough question if you believe that the sacrament of marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman. A Catholic can be faithful to the Church teaching yet still support LGBT rights. How? Well, all humans have rights. Everyone should have the right to live with and find companionship with whomever they choose without discrimination. Everyone should have the right to visit their closest loved ones in the hospital. Everyone should have equal opportunities in jobs, schools, administration, etc.
You can choose whether or not you personally believe homosexual sex and sex-changes are wrong. But when it comes to loving your brothers and sisters, Jesus asks us to open our hearts, be compassionate and leave judgment to God.
Rev. Bryan Massingale says:
“Every Catholic document on social justice declares the equal human dignity of every human being…. Many Catholics – including some who agree with their Church’s moral judgments about same-sex conduct – support legislation that would ensure that gay and lesbian persons have the right to visit sick loved ones and make decisions concerning their care; that would ensure that such students can attend school without the burden of harassment and violence; that would enable them to work and contribute to society without prejudice and discrimination.” (Quote borrowed from DignityUSA.)
We can still be activists for LGBT rights whether we believe the Church teaching or not. And as a lesbian, I am inspired to know that there are other Catholics out there who support me and the rights we should all have as human beings.
Thanks for listening,
I was thinking about this because it seems that some people in the Church (and outside the Church) don’t realize that a lot of what being gay or lesbian is about really has nothing to do with what the Church considers mortal sin. When people say “homosexuality is wrong,” how accurate is that according to Church teaching? Shouldn’t it be more along the lines of “sex outside of marriage is wrong?”
Here are 3 ways that my own sexuality is perfectly acceptable, beautiful, and perhaps even… holy.
One of the beautiful things about human nature is our desire to express love through affection. We love to give hugs, kisses, back rubs, and all the rest. I love to be affectionate with people regardless of their gender, however… I love to be affectionate with women most of all! I am a woman but there is nothing wrong with being affectionate with other women. I feel closer to them emotionally, I feel more comfortable with them AND… I just think they are beautiful and wonderful!
I’ve always found that when it comes to companionship, my needs are best fulfilled by people of the same gender. Don’t get me wrong… I have some wonderful male friends. But if I had to spend my whole life with just one person it would probably be a woman. In fact, I have a female partner whom I love dearly. We share a home, finances, and lot’s of love. But we also support each other in choosing to be celibate and devoted to our Faith.
Has anyone assumed you were gay just because of the clothes you were wearing? They have with me. I don’t mind that (since it happens to be true) but I don’t like people assuming that I’m a bad Catholic. Personally, I tend to shop in the men’s department of Macy’s and JC Penny. I also like sports and beer. I hate to wear dresses. I never wear make-up. And for some reason I avoid the color pink. Does that mean I need to go to confession? Well sure, but certainly not for those reasons just mentioned.
SO be yourself. Love yourself. Express yourself. And try to find others to support you!
We support you here at this website! Tell us what it’s like for you in the comments or in the forum.
Bishop Joseph Sullivan on the LGBT Community and America Magazine: Gays and the Church -- Two Stories from Today
Here is an article by Fr. James Martin (Gays and the Church -- Two Stories from Today), SJ where he reacts to and compares two pieces regarding homosexuality, a homophobic letter he received and an article by Bishop Joseph Sullivan about reaching out to LGBT people (you can read it here: Catholics are Reaching out the LGBT Community).
What you would probably be surprised to learn is that Catholics are among those who increasingly are reaching out pastorally to the LGBT community. A recent study released by the Public Religion Research Institute found that a majority of Catholics believe that job discrimination against gay and lesbian people should be outlawed. By almost 2 to 1, Catholics believe that gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to adopt children.
The views of Catholics about the LGBT community have been evolving for years. Catholic teachings compel us to work toward the elimination of unjust structures and to treat people with dignity, regardless of their state in life or their beliefs. My own understanding of this community has also evolved over the course of four decades of ministry.
... it's a surprise to hear a bishop use the term "LGBT," which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. Many Catholic leaders still use "homosexual," a word that the gay community has moved away from. (And shouldn't a group of people be free to call themselves what they want?)
In any event, it’s the classic “on the one hand, on the other hand.” On the one hand, despite warnings against discrimination against gays in the Catechism, which calls for gays and lesbians to be treated with "respect, sensitivity and compassion," there is still homophobia in the church. (The letter I received is only one of many examples that could be adduced.) On the other, there are many Catholics like Bishop Sullivan, who are trying to apply Gospel values to care pastorally for a group of marginalized people. It’s a big church, as one friend likes to say.
And I hope that as our big church moves ahead, it will sound more like Bishop Sullivan and less like my anonymous friend.
With issues such as homosexuality and the Church, people get into heated debates quite often. I think most of us, whatever our beliefs may be, tend to want to change other people's minds who disagree with us. We always feel like that's the goal. But is it really the goal? Do you ever notice how when you get into a heated debate with someone, anger can creep into your heart? We may feel like we are trying to do something good by convincing someone why they are wrong. But how often do we convince them if we are driven by that anger? With the issue of homosexuality and the Church, we all have something to learn. Our combined experiences and knowledge can move us toward better understanding if we approach one another with humility. Christ offered Himself to us as an innocent lamb for sacrifice. Let's sacrifice our pride today and commune with our enemies (or simply those who disagree with us) through God's love.
About this site
Hello and welcome to our website. This site was created with the hope that you will find the resources and support you need as a homosexual or transgendered Catholic both devout and progressive.
This site is faithful to and respects the Church's teaching on homosexuality but we want to hear all sides, questions, and experiences that our readership has. You are not alone and no matter what your story is we want to hear you and be there for you.
We do not yet have much information dedicated to issues for transgendered people but we hope to have more of that in the future. Take a look at the different pages: "Our Voices" contains links to articles we found online by or about homosexual Catholics. "The Church and Homosexuality" contains resources for learning about the Church's teaching on homosexuality and related issues. "Our Blog" is a blog updated by the creators of this webiste.
Scout: My friend and I worked on creating this site because we want to support other Catholics who are gay, lesbian, or transgendered. I am in a celibate partnership with another woman who is also Catholic. My partner and I are faithful to Church teaching but understand the intense struggle that all homosexuals face, especially Catholics. I hope this website can contribute to providing you with the support you need.