This is the final installment in this series.
“They [homosexuals] must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”
Two points I want to quickly make about unjust discrimination. But before I do that I want to mention that there is a such thing as just discrimination. Just discrimination is judging between two different things and treating those things differently as a matter of right and wrong. Opposition to same-sex “marriage” is a form of just discrimination because opposite-sex and same-sex relationships are fundamentally different and it does harm to both types of relationships to pretend that the difference doesn’t exist. Marriage is wronged when one claims that same-sex relationships accomplish the same things as marriage, when it is always impossible for the two persons of the same-sex to accomplish the very purpose of marriage.
That being said, there are many forms of unjust discrimination against homosexuals that need to end. The first has been accomplished in repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. One’s sexuality truly doesn’t have anything to do with the skill set needed to defend our nation, and the discomfort of knowing that someone you live with on the front is homosexual doesn’t justify refusal to receive them into the armed forces. With that being said, sexuality has very little to do with the skill sets of the vast majority of employment opportunities, so it is a work of justice to ensure that homosexuals are not denied work on the basis of their sexuality.
There are also other rights that truly belong to all people whether they are married, single, straight, or homosexual. Those rights include being able to choose who is able to visit you in the hospital. You hear stories about this gay man or that gay man being denied the right to visit his dying partner in a hospital somewhere. Whether these stories are true or not, I do not know, but all people should be able to choose who is and is not allowed to visit them when they are sick or dying and those wishes should be respected. A number of other things including last will and testament, joint banking, housing, etc. should not be restricted from homosexuals or any person for that matter. You should be able to open a joint bank account with whomever you like, whether it is your spouse, a same-sex partner, a roommate, a sibling, or a business partner. Parties have the right to control and combine their finances as they see fit.
I can’t verify Church teaching on this, but I think it is safe to say that we should also oppose any move that would make homosexual behavior illegal in the privacy of one’s home. The Catholic Church supports religious freedom and part of that means supporting someone’s right to reject the Church. If two homosexuals want to have sex in their home, that should be their right
In the end it is important for people on both sides of the issue to remember that respect is a two-way street. If Catholics want to be respected by those who hold opposing views we must show respect for them, and vice-versa. There is much more common ground between us than there is opposition. We, as Catholics, specifically, need to see each person as Jesus sees them. We must look at others with compassion as Christ did when he saw the crowds. We must see first the imprint of the image of God on the person. We must remember that Jesus died for them too! WE must remember that we are all capable of responding to the grace of Christ and that we are all capable of committing grave sin. We must never stop loving. We must never stop giving of ourselves. Love covers all wrong doing. We must be the loving hands of Jesus, inviting ALL people to leave themselves behind and enter to the divine life of God.
The Gospel is a gospel of love. The commands of God are a lamp unto our feet.
We pray for your blessing today as your people. We ask you to give us the grace to be a people of love, proclaiming your message of hope and redemption to all. We want to be your hands and your feet, calling sinners to repentance and joy through our example of humility. Let us see your face in every one that we meet today and every day.
We pray in a special way for all people who struggle with the cross of homosexuality. We don’t pray the gay away, but pray for all to have the strength to live chastely and gradually grow in virtue and obtain Christian perfection.