I have gay friends

I have gay friends

I have gay friends. Is it okay or Catholic to support my gay friends?

Dear Friend,

As Catholics, we believe that all people, regardless of their state in life or the sins that they may be committing deserve mercy, compassion, love and all the benefits a life in Christ offers. There is no discrimination in God’s eyes – He loves all and calls all of us to love others with the same type of love that He gives. No one should be treated as if they are not worthy of God’s love from us or the Church.

In this immense love, God desires that we live chastity because it bestows on us all the profound benefits of healthy relationships. In chastity, we refuse to use another for physical pleasure. Even in our long-term, serious, in-love relationships, whether we are attracted to the same or opposite sex, we’re all called to love the other as Jesus loves. Like Christ, we are to lay down our lives (including our sexual desires) for the well-being and future of our partner. Due to free will, anyone has a right to stray from this type of chaste love – and many do, in this culture – no matter to whom they are attracted. However, when we do this, we miss out on the graces and benefits of chastity and staying in God’s plan and will for our lives.

As a Catholic, you should love your friends who are gay like you love any other friends, and strive to be a great witness to them of an authentic Christian life. When discussions on the topic of sexuality arise, don’t be afraid to share with them about the incredible benefits of chastity – since they deserve God’s best! I know of a man who continues to have same-sex attractions but chooses chastity. He continues to live his faith as a Catholic man and stay close to God. He refuses to settle for less than the best God has in store for his life. If your friends stay faithful to chastity, that’s awesome. If they don’t, you should continue to love them as you would any other friend who falls off of the path. In that love, however, you can tell them, as you would any other friend not living chastity, that there is more than the physical relationship – there’s an intimacy with Jesus and a respect for others that’s beyond what physical/sexual relationships offer.

So, you can still be a Catholic in loving your friends and encouraging them to live chastity through your own lifestyle and your words when the opportunity arises. However, encouraging them to sin is never a loving thing to do.

I hope that helps, but I want to encourage you to also check out this brief article and the excellent resources within it – What’s the deal with the Church’s teaching on homosexuality?

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