More than half of the people in our country still believe in marriage as a union of one man and one woman. Those who want to change these laws would have us believe otherwise.
The other night, we had an engaging conversation with a wonderful, holy young priest during which the topic of gay/lesbian marriage arose. He pointed out that, those who believe in same-sex marriage are working hard to turn the issue from one of doctrine to one of discrimination. They’d like to convince us that the Catholic Church stands against same-sex marriage because Catholics don’t like homosexuals, and therefore discriminate against them, wanting to deprive them of their “rights.”
We have to be very clear – for ourselves and for others – about what the Church actually teaches. She does not teach discrimination. Here is what she does teach, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms throughout the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on sacred Scripture, which present homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity [Gen. 19:1-29, Rom. 1:24-27, 1 Cor. 6:10, 1Tim. 1:10], tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered [Persona Humana 8]. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. 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.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
Indeed, the Church warns us not to discriminate against homosexuals, but rather to encourage them in their faith journeys and to treat them in all Christian charity. The Church also teaches that, no matter how much we love our homosexual members, we cannot change the Truth. Nor can we change the Truth for any other group wishing to alter it.