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Posts tagged ‘Catholic’

Catholics and Marriage Equality — A Personal Perspective

I was born and raised a Catholic. I went to Catholic school for 13 years. The last few years have been challenging as far as being a gay Catholic.shutterstock_135491960

All over the media you kept hearing story after story of negative things: priests, bishops and cardinals saying they wouldn’t serve communion to those that support marriage equality, teachers being fired from Catholic schools for being gay or getting married to their same-sex partners, churches asking volunteers to step down from their duties because of their same-sex marriage. Gay Catholics were made to feel as it they didn’t belong here, that we weren’t wanted in the church.

I definitely felt that way. That is why I exiled myself away from the church for almost a year. I love the friends I have made at the church. I know that there is a difference between what is said in Rome (or by the higher ups in the church) and what is said at my home parish. I have never heard a negative word coming from the parish itself and the message that is preached is one of love and acceptance.

Polls show that Catholics themselves as a group are more in favor of marriage equality than not. I read an article recently on the web, the headline was “The Catholic Church is not Homophobic, but are it’s Bishops?”. I have to wonder if this is true.

When I was coming out and struggling with my sexuality, the therapist I was seeing encouraged me to talk to a priest. He set up a meeting with one priest in the valley. I met with him, and he told me the church’s teachings on gays. The basic message was one of love and acceptance for the gay person. The main issue of contention is the sex issue. Hence the phrase, love the sinner — hate the sin.

Some of my Catholic friends have gotten all excited about what Pope Francis has said regarding gay people. His comments are refreshing. But I am not jumping up and down yet, like some of my friends. Bottom line is nothing really has changed. He just said that we should focus much less on divisive issues like same-sex marriage and abortion and more about being of service and helping the poor.

My relationship of 25 years is a beautiful thing. Yes, we are intimate. Sexuality is a gift from God, and I am grateful that I get to share it with a loving partner. No priest, politician or family member can tell me that my relationship is not valid. Sex is a part of our relationship. Get over it people! We plan on getting married later this year.

So where do things stand for me and the church? Well, let’s say I am open to hearing more. I will always be connected to the church in some way, whether through friends or family. My personal relationship with God transcends what any church can define. He is in my corner and watching out for me.

A few more things… I can’t see how the Advocate named Pope Francis the person of the year. That was going way too far. Just this past week, the UN condemned the Vatican and their handling of the sex abuse scandals. And yet another story of a lesbian being denied communion at her own mother’s funeral too hit the internet. The Catholic Church needs to listen to their people. And make some changes. But I am not going to sit by and wait for them to happen.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.


Blended Spirituality

This is a term I am hearing more and more of these days. Are we evolving as spiritual beings, and appreciating that there can be more than one right answer? I certainly hope so.

I was born and raised a Catholic. I went to Catholic school for 13 years. My faith has been important in my life. When I first cam out, my Mom seemed more concerned with me still being Catholic, than she was of me being gay.Spirituality Does Not Oppress

In adulthood, I have gone to various churches: Metropolitan Community Church, Unity Fellowship, Church of Religious Science, Lutheran and other Christian churches. I even tried out a new church in the Valley recently: Freedom Church. It is an offshoot of Foursquare, with an indie/rock vibe. But the community that has resonated with me the best has been St. Monica Catholic Community in Santa Monica, California. It is a very welcoming, gay-friendly parish and I know that I have made some lifelong friends there.

Besides St. Monica, one of the places we go to on a regular basis now is Agape International Spiritual Center. This is the church founded by the Rev. Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith. He was one of the featured teachers in “The Secret” video. It is a new-thought ancient wisdom place of worship. They have spiritual readings from many sources, including the Bible. They appreciate the teachings of Jesus, but they are not Bible thumpers in the least. It is more about connecting with the universe, community and becoming the best person you can be. The message is there to lift you up, inspire you and make us better individuals.


I’m Gay and I Pray

I was born and raised Catholic. I went to Catholic school for 13 years. I was baptized, had my first communion and confirmation. I went to church every Sunday.

As an adult, I have continued my relationship with God. But I have found there is a big difference between religion and spirituality. I have also had to make peace with sexuality and the church. I was made to feel there was something wrong with me because I was gay. I prayed and prayed for God to change me. The more research and life experience I had I came the conclusion that I was born this way. There was nothing wrong with me! Being gay is a gift from God.We Are All God's Children

I hate the fact that the Religious Right has soiled/perverted the word “Christian” — to me, they are anything but. God is Love, love for all mankind: We are all equal: man, woman, gay, straight, married or not, rich or poor, white, black, hispanic, asian, etc. God loves all of us. Yet the religious right wants us to feel otherwise — that some of us are better than others.

When the Prop. 8 campaign was happening in California in 2008, my partner and I joined in the fight to keep gay marriage in the state. We did a lot of phone calls, plus we stood on a street corner and waved signs for the cause. The “Christians” we encountered during this time are some of the most hateful persons I have ever dealt with. I was told I was going to hell, that I was sick/perverted, that they wanted to murder us, and they wished that I would die. All of this because I love somebody of the same sex.


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