Is being gay a sin?

Of course not! Both the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the U.S. Catholic Bishops recognize that sexual orientation is not a choice and is not sinful: “Generally, homosexual orientation is experienced as a given, not as something freely chosen. By itself, therefore, a homosexual orientation cannot be considered sinful, for morality presumes the freedom to choose” (“Always Our Children: A Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children and Suggestions for Pastoral Ministers,” U.S. Catholic Bishops, 1997).

Being gay is not sinful. It is another part of the great mystery of humankind, created in the image of God. But the Church teaches that sexual relations are reserved for the sacramental union of a man and a woman in marriage, where that intimacy has twin purposes: their union, as a couple, and procreation, expressed as openness to the gift of life. Sexual relations between men or between women cannot fulfill both purposes of sexual intimacy. Thus the Church calls gays and lesbians to celibate chastity. Likewise, the Church calls for respect, compassion and sensitivity to gays and lesbians: “Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2358). Gay or straight, every single one of us has the same call: “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).

from Neela Kale and the Busted Halo Question Box


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