Asked by the host, George Stephanopoulos, what he would say to people who felt excluded from the Roman Catholic Church because of their sexual orientation, the cardinal said: “Well, the first thing I’d say to them is, ‘I love you, too. And God loves you. And you are made in God’s image and likeness.’ ”
But the cardinal continued his message to those who felt excluded by saying, “We want your happiness. But ... you’re entitled to friendship.” He also hesitated when Mr. Stephanopoulos asked him how the church might show its love to people that it often seemed intent on demonizing. “I don’t know,” he said. “We’re still trying. ... We’ve got to listen to people... We’ve got to do better to see that our defense of marriage is not reduced to an attack on gay people.”
In the spirit of compromise, then — and realizing that we and the cardinal are not soon going to agree on how the church and state should treat same-sex couples who want to make a lifetime commitment to each other — we offer a few suggestions that do not require the hierarchy to adjust its teachings on the nature of marriage, but would send a clear message against distaste and mistrust.