Supporting gay marriage at our Catholic wedding?

posted 1 year ago in Catholic
Member
5130 posts
Bee Keeper

@Ladycdub:  As another Catholic who supports gay marriage, I think the church probably isn’t the place to show your support.  At the reception, though, I think you would be fine.

DH and I didn’t do anything to specifically support gay marriage at our wedding, but we did invite several gay couples, and we did our best to make sure that they felt just as welcomed as any of our other guests.

Member
991 posts
Busy bee

We are thinking of doing the same (white knot!!), but we aren’t getting married in a church. I think the white knots are very understated, and i LOVE the wording. In fact, I may steal your idea. Tongue Out

My only hesitation for you is the church…do you have an open-minded priest doing the ceremony? 

Member
518 posts
Busy bee

If you’re getting married in the Catholic church, supporting gay marriage is awesome as far as your personal choice, but I highly doubt that the priest will approve/allow anything that is in blatant contradiction of the church’s position.

Member
402 posts
Helper bee

@Ladycdub: I think this is such a difficult issue in the Church because we’re usually seen as homophobic or anti-sex, when that couldn’t be farther from the truth. As someone who is deeply Catholic and loves the Church and believes that we are only in the “business of love”, I struggle to communicate our teachings on sexuality and marriage while loving my gay family members and friends without being relativistic or compromising on the truth.

I like this article because it captures my struggle very well: http://www.conversiondiary.com/2012/07/a-conversation-with-my-gay-friend.html 

Her gay friend asks what is marriage if it’s not a commitment. That seems to be what the Supreme Court is saying and yet for Catholics, it’s so much more. We believe that marriage is intrinsically related to sexuality and new human life, that it is for the salvation of the spouses and for their children. The Church isn’t abitrarily discriminating against gays, like our culture discriminated against racially mixed marriages. Our understanding of sex is rooted in the complementarity of men and women and the communion of the Trinity. If you are marrying in the Church, I hope you spend some time reading and engaging with this long philosophical and theological tradition. I really recommend Pope Paul VI’s Humane Vitae, Karol Wojtyla’s Love and Responsibility or his Theology of the Body. It’s so much more than simply homosexuality, but contraception, love and sacrifice, the cross.

Like she says:  “in this view you are constantly having to make sacrifices out of respect for what this act is all about: If you’re totally open to having kids, then there are the sacrifices that come with birth and raising children; if you’re abstaining during fertile times, you’re sacrificing. Infertile couples sacrifice by not using artificial methods like in vitro to force new life into existence. Gay men and women sacrifice by living chaste lives, as do people separated from their spouses, and people who are not yet married, or whose spouse has died. Notice that we’re all sacrificing, and that all of the sacrifices are about the same thing: love and respect for new human life, and specifically the act that creates new human life.”

One of my friends converted to Catholicism from atheism and is gay. He talks about his conversion experience here: http://amcatholic.wordpress.com/2009/07/03/fides-quaerens-intellectum/.

“My very weakness is my spiritual strength. I believe, rather boldly, that homosexual men and women because of their experiences must be incredibly strong creatures, stronger than most. For most of my life, homosexuality was the central barrier to a communion with God. Today, it is one of the primary reasons I talk with Him and apart of embracing the Cross.”

I hope that you study the Church’s teachings, pray, and talk about this with an orthodox priest. Consider carefully why you are marrying in the Church if your understanding of marriage is so radically different from what the Church teaches. The sacred liturgy is no place to cause scandal or promote heterodoxy.

God bless you.

 

 

 

 

 

Member
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

I think what you are planning to do is an important statement… but probably NOT ONE to be made within the Church (not so much that it might offend a Guest… because as you say I think that most people won’t really catch on to the subtle things you have planned)

BUT it does go against the grain of the Teachings of the Roman Catholic Church… so I think you are making too much of a statement in a sacred place (not the best spot to take A Stand) … especially so when there is also the element of the possibility of offending someone there (like your Priest) and being told that they won’t marry you.  And if you’ve read much on WBee you’d see how hard it is sometimes to find an Officiant to marry you… more so if you are looking at Churches or Locations outside of your usual circle / neighbourhood / parish etc

I’d think it therefore best, to keep this all very low key… and more apparent at the Reception.  Nothing wrong there with making a very open statement…

Please join us in our support of Marriage for ALL by picking up a White Knot Ribbon and wearing it today and into the future

— — —

BTW, I’m not familiar with White Knot Bracelets… can you tell me more about that aspect (links, pics etc).  Any info will be helpful, thanks.

 

Member
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

TO Ladycdub:  you said…

I think maybe I was unclear… We aren’t planning on making any statements during the ceremony at all

I got that you weren’t planning to make any VERBAL Statements… and even if you wanted to you couldn’t.  In that the Sacrament of Marriage in the Holy Catholic Church is very very specific about what can and cannot be done… and for the most part, all the readings etc must be out of the Holy Scriptures (and pre-approved by the Church).

BUT…

If you have the Massachusetts Supreme Court Decision printed in your Program (the one handed out at the Church) then you are indeed making a Statement (albeit non-verbal) in a Catholic Church… and I don’t think that is appropriate

And as I said, if anyone in the Church took issue with it… you might find yourselves in dire straits with then (would suck not to have a place to marry)

Personally, I think you need to decide that IF you go this route, and make such a statement on your Wedding Day to show support for Gay Marriage, that it should be something that ties in with your Reception and not at your Wedding Ceremony in a Catholic Church (otherwise it really does have a tinge of a back-handed slap on the Church, Parish, Priest, Congregation that is assembled together in this sacred place to perform / RECOGNIZE YOUR MARRIAGE)

And I think this was the Question you raised in your Original Post…

As I said, the Sacrament of Marriage in the Catholic Church is waaay different than other Marriage Ceremonies (beliefs) across the board for Christian Denominations… and either you respect that or you don’t… and if you don’t then I don’t really see the point of getting married there yourselves (and it does seem a bit strange to physically make a statement by DOING ONE THING AT THE WEDDING… Marry in the Catholic Church… and then SAY SOMETHING DIFFERENT at the Reception.. speak out in support of Gay Marriage… when clearly the Catholic Church is one of the largest institutions that is against Gay Marriage)

I hope this post makes my thoughts a tad more clear than the first one…

 

 

Member
833 posts
Busy bee

I agree that a statement made in a program is still a statement.

Are you only including that statement for the sake of your gay friends?  That is, if you had no gay friends but still felt the way you do on this issue, would you include it?  If the answer is “no” then it might seem a little bit patronizing.  Even if the answer is yes, I don’t think you should include it because it is making a statement.  There is no need to do so.

The white knot idea is pretty awesome, it’s low-key and still shows your support.  I’m another Catholic who supports the legal institution of marriage being open to gay couples, and I do have gay loved ones who were invited to our wedding.  We also had a lot of atheists (a big chunk of my family) and outright anti-Catholics at our wedding.  They could choose to come to the ceremony or not.  Everyone there was close to us, and they all knew where we stood on things like gay marriage.  Everyone there knew that we were Catholic, and so we were getting married in the Catholic Church in a religious ceremony.

None of the many people there who had a problem with the Catholic Church skipped the ceremony (though we did say on our website that due to the distance between the church and the reception, we understood if people could only come to one or the other).  No one held it against us that we’re Catholic and followed our faith.  Everyone who was there loved us and was there to show their love and support.

I suspect the same will be true for your wedding.

Member
1321 posts
Bumble bee

Please don’t use your wedding as an opportunity to make a political statement. Forget about the religious setting aspect, this is wrong.

It always boggles my mind that so many brides think this is appropriate!

How would you feel if this was reversed, and the bride had a little sign at the reception saying “please take a white knot pin to symbolize the preciousness of marriage between one man and one woman, and the need to protect it every day.” How would you feel about the bride and groom? Would you think they were smug and self-righteous?

What do you think guests will think of other guests who they see aren’t wearing the pins? Or vice versa?

How would you feel if you go to your seat at a wedding and find they’ve done a donation favor – and the charity they selected was Focus on the Family? or some other conservative marriage group? Is that appropriate because, after all, it’s a wedding? Remember they have the right to their religious and cultural beliefs, and who are you to judge? But you can certainly judge the couple foolish and insensitive for choosing their wedding as a venue for sharing that with others who PROBABLY don’t ALL feel the same way.

What if you have guests who support gay marriage but resent being forced to publically make a statement, at a family celebration? You turn a fun coming-together between two families, into a moment of division and tension.

What if you have orthodox Jews, pious Catholics, Muslims, or Buddhists among your guests? Did you know the Dalai Lama doesn’t accept gay marriage, and neither do his more serious followers? You’re forcing these people to make a loud statement. Either violate religious taboos by wearing the pin, or be “marked” as intolerant in the eyes of other guests. More or less you’re embarrassing the guests at your wedding. It’s NEVER ok to deliberately embarrass people who came to your wedding to celebrate.

If you choose to do something like that you actively divide your guests: those who take the pins and those who don’t.

Plus, believe it or not many gay people tire of being the focus of constant “support” from smug, self-righteous straight people. Another poster said it perfectly: your friends could interpret it as patronizing. I have a friend who is out and proud but who NEVER takes the little do-hickies (one bride had flags saying “I support equality”!) because he prefers to make such disclosures on HIS terms. Or as he said “I would like to attend 1 wedding where my sexuality isn’t used for the bride to show off how progressive she is.”

What if you have guests who feel passionately either way, and they start an argument?

If you have the slightest bit of true diversity among your guests, this is honestly a VERY rude thing to do. Please don’t do it. If you actually care about this issue, come home a day early from your honeymoon and do some volunteering at a pro-gay marriage organization. That would be a meaningful and selfless action to take, as opposed to rude and self-righteous.

Member
555 posts
Busy bee

If you are worried about how your gay friends will feel, talk to them.

Member
2884 posts
Sugar bee

@Magdalena:  I think this is a brilliant post

With regards to pins (i know the OP mentioned bracelets but pins are a similar thing), i dont pin things to my clothes period. Could be the best cause in the world, but i dont buy extremely expensive clothes for formal events to then poke at them with pins. And i would feel judged for not wearing them. 

Member
64 posts
Worker bee

I think people are being a little harsh. There is nothing wrong with being Catholic and being pro-marriage equality. It’s different from pledging support to Focus on the Family, which is a hate group- not an apt comparison.

I think having the white knots is a nice idea.

As a side bar, I think the Catholic Church needs to move past its hateful views on homosexuality. As my (Catholic) priest said, who are a bunch of “celibates in Rome” to make judgements on our sex lives? The legality of gay marriage does not mean that the Church must marry gay people. I think it’s a sin to withhold charitable funding and using that as a threat against gay marriage, as the Church has done in several jurisdictions.

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