After a talk I gave recently, a gentleman wrote to me asking about how to respond to the LGBTQ influence affecting his family, namely a supposed marriage coming up. I tried to respond with truth and compassion.

Steve:

I had a question I wanted to ask you.  You touched briefly on LBGQ in your talk 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 that I have some relatives who are living the LGBTQ lifestyle. One of them 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 them know that I love them but disapprove of that lifestyle.  I feel attending will imply my approval but I don’t want others to think I approve.  

I also struggle with family parties that I have — as I do want to see these relatives — but I don’t really want to see that relationship present — especially as the younger ones who look up to us are starting to get older and could easily drawn into this immoral and confused culture, especially if they think that we approve of it.

Any thoughts or guidance on how to handle these situations is much appreciated.

Thanks

*****************************************

My response:

Friend:

Your instincts are correct in my opinion. By attending such an LGBTQ “wedding” you would be tacitly giving your stamp of approval which would be observed by your whole family, especially those who look up to you as an example and model.

Jesus said he came not to bring peace but a sword that will divide family members. In this context, Jesus certainly meant the Jewish believers who proclaimed their faith in Jesus as the Messiah. It would bring about rejection, similar to a divorce, by their Jewish friends and family. 

But Jesus foresaw all the future situations where loyalty to truth and morality would bring division. I think your situation is the kind of situation he was anticipating.

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.”

Confronting a family member face-to-face is difficult and can become heated quickly. I have found in these situations like this it is a good idea to write a short and heartfelt letter explaining your love for your relative and also explaining why you cannot accept their LGBTQ lifestyle, especially their “wedding”. There’s always the principle of love the sinner and hate the sin. We should make sure to go way out of the way to demonstrate our love and acceptance of them as a person made in the image of God and a beloved family member.

A heartfelt letter can also cause a bad reaction from your relative, but at least they’re not forced to defend themselves by responding instantly. In a letter, you are better able to articulate both your love for the person and your disapproval of the deviant behavior which may be difficult to cover in a conversation. They will have time to dwell on it a bit, to digest your thoughts and words before they ever have to talk to you person-to-person.

It also seems to me that there is a difference between attending an LGRTQ 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 your family member from birth and tried to be a good example — and that you were and are always there for them if they ever need 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 your relative really loves you, then she will also understand you and your Catholic faith and because of their love and not hold it against you. They should do the same thing you are doing — loving you even though they disagree with your position. Unless, of course, the LGBTQ orientation is what primarily defines them. In which case, they may only accept people that celebrate the gravely immoral lifestyle they have chosen.

God bless you 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 and how we influence those around us. 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 relative say at the judgment, “Now I understand why you didn’t come to my wedding.” Instead of having your relative say, “But God, my Catholic relative came to my LGBTQ 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. It is entitled “Six Rules for Dealing with Non-Catholic Family and Friends.”

 https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/six-rules-for-dealing-with-non-catholic-family-and-friends 

Finally, I would suggest you discuss this with a trusted priest, not one with a rainbow flag draped over 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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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Should you attend a transexual wedding?

    No.

    STEVE RAY HERE: Agreed, and that is what I told him. Gif bless you Father!

  2. Mike from NJ

    I was in a similar situation some 20+ years ago.. My brother scheduled to have his newborn daughter baptized in the Church, and I announced privately that I would not be attending. I did not want to give the impression that my attendance would show approval of the ceremony. I did relent to a point and attended the post-ceremony gift in hand and with sincere congratulations on what was a joyous and loving moment for them. I’m glad I did do that, as I did want to support them even though they and I were not on the same page religiously..

    In short, I can’t fault someone who opts out or opts in. All of us should not set any kind of “If you don’t attend my [event] then you don’t love me.” ultimatum. Nor should we admonish someone who decides to go in support of the family member despite the differences they may hold.

  3. Janice Fikse

    Thank you for your words of wisdom, Steve. So many people are now having to face painful situations like these. I wish they all could read your answer.

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