Yes, this is something that was obviously in the offing, that my past reluctance to endorse gay marriage was gradually eroding with the more loving gay Christian couples I met. Gay marriage is the only honest response to the romantic love God seems to be giving gay christian couples. It never occurred to the early Church that gentiles might become the vast majority of its members, until God gave gentiles the Holy Spirit, likewise the Church now has to recognise the reality of gay love. Because I knew that secular people have a warped idea of marriage to begin with it took gay Christian couples to convince me.
Christianity invented the idea of marriage being about love, but just as Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man, so marriage is made for love not the other way around. When you find gay people with this christian desire for the sanctity of marriage for their relationship it is eye opening, when you see that they really do genuinely and deeply love one another it takes a certain kind of callousness to grope around for reasons to tell them that their love is not worthy of the Church’s blessing.
It seems to me that gay love is a mirror of God’s limitless love for humanity not bound by our human frailties. That there have been gay people since the dawn of time and there are now seven billion people on the planet. Maybe Christian homophobes seem to think that everytime two women or two men kiss a child dies? Actually if straight Christians obey the Church when it comes to contraception then there will be plenty of sons and daughters to become priests and nuns, and there will also be enough of us so that the one in ten of us who are gay will not cause any harm to the survival of the species.
I’ve been ruminating a lot on this in my sleep, because for the first time I went to bed genuinely happy to be queer last night, I’ve finally realised why ‘Courage’ is so incredibly discouraging and its the same reason they ceaselessly use the term same sex attraction. They cannot use the term gay because for them it would be a lie, because they are miserable, they are deeply unhappy to be the people that God created them to be. It does not have to be this way, God calls us to life and life in all its fullness.
The reason I went to sleep happy was that I went to another fantastic LGBT Christian event and heard the newly minted (Catholic) ceo of Stonewall talk about their work and simply and powerfully about how right it is that gay people be true to who they are. The theme of the event was Desmond Tutu’s quote “There comes a point where we all need to stop just pulling people out of the river, we need to go upstream and find out why they are falling in”. Or in the case of gay Christians, why we are being pushed in.
It is within this context that I can look past the psychological hurt done to me by the Church that does not seem to care it is crucifying its own members on the issue of homosexuality. Remind myself that I am just one person, and that actually there are many more like me, and that whilst keeping my head below the parapet might be a good survival technique I owe it to my gay brothers and sisters in Christ to voice my dissent against the machinery of this institution that really does grind so many of us into paste.
The Catholic Church does not realise how brutally it erases its gay members. It seems to think that insisting gay people never do anything gay is somehow a loving acceptance of gay people. No it is not. It is annihilation. The Catholic Church has said in the Catechism decades ago now that gay people need to be loved and accepted, but when it comes to what that actually might entail it still needs to be educated.
Being gay absolutely is not a ‘cross to bear’, being gay is wonderful, what is a cross to bear is the Church’s small minded refusal to truly accept gay people for who they are and who they love. I am happy because the gay Christians I’ve met are wonderful and from now on I will endeavour to put my head above the parapet for them, I will not be beaten down because now I have other people I can stand up and be counted for and be vociferous in their defence.