Gay Marriage, Civil Unions, and the Synod

I’m ready to put my head on a block and say it:

The institutional Catholic response to same-sex relationships is undergoing a major sea-change. Here’s the evidence.

The existing formulation of Vatican doctrine is that all forms of genital expression of “same-sex attraction” is strictly verboten, that any form of legal recognition of same – sex unions should be strenuously opposed, and that there is not need for legal protection against discrimination, because if we do not disclose our orientation (i.e.., stay in the closet), the question of discrimination simply will not arise, because no-one will know we’re gay.

How times have changed!

The German bishops have recently removed from their employment contracts the clause that penalizes openly gay or lesbian employees. LGBT Catholic teachers, hospital workers, and parish workers need no longer remain closeted.

A steadily expanding list of Catholic bishops, including some in very senior positions, has given direct support to the value of legal protections for same – sex couples. for example, by civil union or civil partnership legislation

And outside the Catholic Church, recognition and support for church blessings (or even full marriage rites) for same – sex couples is gaining ground, rapidly. (Two recent examples are the French Protestant church, which has accepted the possibility of such church blessings, and the Scottish Kirk, which has approved appointing ministers in same – sex civil partnerships. Other denominations have even approved full marriage).

Catholics “leading the way” on gay marriage.

A steady stream of opinion polls, in North America, in the UK, in Europe, and now in Australia, consistently show that where voters are asked about their support for marriage equality, Catholics are supportive and generally more so than the general population.  similarly, many polls show that most Catholics do not see that homosexuality is morally objectionable at all.

 

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