Paul wrote,

Hi Steve,
I attended your conference recently — thank you for being there and sharing your experiences with everyone.  Your beliefs and passion come through loud and clear and I admire that.
I had a question I wanted to ask you.  You touched briefly on LBGQ and how our culture has not only accepted it but really promotes it- and how we need to stand out against it- and I totally agree.  One thing I struggle with — is I have some nieces and nephews who are living that lifestyle.  I have a niece who is marrying a transgender (a male who thinks he is a female now) and I wonder if I should attend the wedding.
I am not sure how I let her know that I love her but disapprove of that lifestyle.  I feel attending I’m showing approval- which I don’t want others to know I approve of that.  I also struggle with family parties that I have- as I do want to see her- but don’t really want to see that relationship present- especially as my grandkids are starting to get older and would understand what that would mean.
Any thoughts or guidance on how to handle these situations is much appreciated. Thanks!
I responded:
Your instincts are correct in my opinion. You attending such an event would give your stamp of approval and that is something you shouldn’t do. Jesus said he came not to bring peace but a sword into divide family members. I think this is the kind of situation he is referring to.
Matthew 10:34–39  “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
  35  For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
 36  And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.
  37  Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
 38  And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
 39  Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
I have found in some situations like this a good idea is to write a short and heartfelt letter explaining your love for your niece and also explaining why you cannot except that lifestyle. There’s always the love the sinner and hate the sin.
        It also seems like there is a difference between going to a wedding and going to a family gathering such as a picnic in the summer. I personally could not go to the wedding because that is making a big statement about my approval of the illicit relationship.
       However, going to a family picnic or Christmas dinner is another thing, it seems to me. You are not approving of that relationship by showing up at the family event. Especially, if you do write them a letter and make it clear what your stand is, then it will be known that your participating in a larger family gathering is not specifically a condoning or approving of the relationship and the illicit marriage. I hope that makes sense.
       You can explain in the letter how you have always loved her from birth and tried to be a good example and that you were and are always there for her if she ever needs you. However, you cannot put a stamp of approval on what you consider to be an unsound and immoral relationship contrary to God‘s law and the laws of nature.
       Statistics also show, that most of the time these relationships are very short-lived. If she really loves you then she will also understand you and your Catholic faith and love you and not hold it against you. Unless of course, her LGBT orientation is the motor fact did in fact motivate feeding factor in her life  and she only excepts people that except that position.
      God bless you Paul and may he give you the insight and the courage. We all stand before God in the end and will be held accountable for our decisions. If we condone and approve immorality or if we encourage others in their immorality it will not bode well for us.
     In the end I guess I’d rather have my niece say at the judgment, “Now I understand why uncle Paul didn’t come to my wedding.” Instead of having her say, “But God, even uncle Paul came to my wedding and accepted it so what’s the problem?”
       Here is an article that I wrote that may be of some assistance although it’s not specifically pertaining to the decision you have to make.
Finally, I would suggest you may discuss this with a trusted priest, not one with a rainbow flag around his shoulders but an honest-to-goodness orthodox Catholic priest.
      God bless you and may he honor your faithfulness to the gospel.
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