The Huffington Post
February 14, 2013


People often wonder why gay and lesbian Catholics and their allies remain in the Church. The staying can be difficult, but the answer is easy. Most of us find the liturgy and the spiritual community so fulfilling, and we find the social justice tradition of the Church so challenging and inspiring, that these outweigh the considerable pain of life in a community that considers some of us "disordered."

In recent decades our leaders have inspired us to oppose war, fight poverty and make a welcome for undocumented immigrants. They have signaled that hospitality and justice can't just remain personal practices; they must become social practices installed in law. That's a vision we embrace and work hard to realize because of their leadership and because we believe Christ welcomes all.

We don't find this accustomed inclusion and hospitality in recent statements by our leaders on same-sex marriage. Francis Cardinal George's letters to parishes and to the Catholic New World in January opposed civil marriage for same-sex couples, suggesting that civil same-sex marriage would not only give individuals inappropriate freedoms but also damage society. According to theMiami Herald, Catholic bishops recently wrote a letter to President Obama threatening to oppose any immigration policy that makes provision for immigration of same-sex partners on a basis similar to immigration for married couples.

Cristina Traina and Karen A. Allen discuss the difficulty that many LGBT Catholics have in staying in the church, and urge it to support marriage equality.