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Caitlin Kennell Kim
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
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Ecumenical, Interfaith
Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Mike Hayes
Our readers asked:

Can I Attend a Gay Wedding?

Neela Kale Answers:

Question: I understand and agree with the Church’s stance on same-sex marriage. However, is it wrong to congratulate people or attend the wedding of a same-sex couple? Wouldn’t it be similar to going to a wedding of a different religion?

While the Catholic Church teaches that marriage is reserved to one man and one woman, this doesn’t preclude Catholics from attending celebrations that aren’t Catholic sacramental weddings. Civil weddings don’t pass muster in the Catholic Church, nor do some unions celebrated in other religious communities. That’s not the point here. Mere presence at an event does not mean approval of everything that is taking place. If you were to take a poll of everyone gathered to celebrate any wedding, you would likely find a wide range of opinions, convictions, and experiences with respect to marriage. Some people in attendance might not even approve of the marriage being celebrated, or of marriage at all! But all the guests would probably express love and friendship for the couple and a desire to support them at an important time in their lives. If someone invites you to a gay wedding or to a wedding of a different religion — especially if that someone is a friend or relative of yours — don’t hesitate to go. You are called first and foremost to love that person and to honor the relationship you have with him or her. There is another time and place to discuss the teaching of the Church with respect to marriage. And if you are concerned about scandal, remember this: There’s a difference between a Catholic priest presiding at a gay wedding and you attending one.

The Author : Neela Kale
Neela Kale is a writer and catechetical minister based in the Archdiocese of Portland. She served with the Incarnate Word Missionaries in Mexico and earned a Master of Divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology. Some of her best theological reflection happens on two wheels as she rides her bike around the hills of western Oregon.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Chris Schene

    I would have a problem with attending a gay wedding and I would move to remove anyone serving in a lay or official role from leadership or even lay service if they attended a gay wedding.

    God has declared a marriage and 1 man+1 woman in scripture and has further declared homosexuality an abomination and perversion and this is reiterated in the New Testament. By attending a gay wedding you are proclaiming to those who see you attend and know of your attendance that you, as a Christianm are celebrating this event and you approve of it. You are also putting please people, your family members ahead of Jesus and God’s law.

    Jesus said “Why do you call me Lord Lord and not do what I say?”
    Jesus said ” Those who love me obey my Father”
    Jesus said ” If you love you family more than me you are not worthy of me”

  • apachi1974

    My message for Mr. Larry. Repeated: Mr Larry. Leviticus has been parodied by those who want to normalize sin. There are differences between moral laws and dietary laws and others. Homosexuality isn’t mentioned in passing in the OT and NT, but has been surmised as an ABOMNATION. We, including you, will all stand in front of Christ and have to justify why we have supported a culture of death and sinful lifestyles. I can’t help but to think that attending a gay wedding is ENABLING or saying its Ok. Would I go to a swingers party even though I’m not partaking in the act? Should I attend a party of alcoholic debauchery even though I’m not participating? Its the body of Christ that’s allowing of sin to flourish.

    • cajaquarius

      [There are differences between moral laws and dietary laws and others.]

      Sounds like picking and choosing whatever appeals to itchy ears to me. Easy to hate gays when you aren’t gay. Easy to disapprove of marriage between whites and blacks (the Sons and Daughters of Ham, as Christendom called them) when you find blacks repulsive. That historical revisionist crap may have worked prior to the Enlightenment and the Internet but we now see you hypocrites for what you truly are and do so love calling you out on it. Reap the whirlwind. Watch your dens of evil, the churches, shrink with the passing generations.

      [Homosexuality isn’t mentioned in passing in the OT and NT, but has been surmised as an ABOMNATION.]

      Abomination in the Hebrew dialect translates out to “irregular” and “not functional”. It was a word used to describe anything from gay unions to incorrectly preparing a sacrifice to wearing linen with your wool. The new definition is more an invention of Christendom and more signs of your untrustworthiness as a group.

      [We, including you, will all stand in front of Christ and have to justify why we have supported a culture of death and sinful lifestyles.]

      I hope you are right. Throwing me into hell for all eternity for falling in love with another man, the crusades, the witch trial: Christ has a lot to answer for and I would love the chance to ask Him to answer for each and every thing myself.

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