My daughter is having a same-sex marriage. Everybody says that, as her father, I should go. What do you have to say?
Your daughter certainly needs to know that you love her, and it’s important that you do all you can to maintain communication with her. But part of loving her is not affirming her in gravely immoral decisions. Some would say you can go to the ceremony but express your disapproval otherwise. However, there is the maxim that “actions speak louder than words,” and if “everyone” is telling you to attend—I infer that doesn’t include your parish pastor—it’s all the more important that you not provide public support for your daughter’s decision. She will benefit from your witness, as will many others.
While U.S. law recognizes such relationships as “marriages,” God and the Catholic Church never can. Scripture and the Church’s magisterium otherwise teach that homosexual sex—whether between two men or two women—is an intrinsic moral evil, let alone attempting to publicly sanction such a relationship. And the Church distinguishes between same-sex attraction (SSA) and homosexual acts (see CCC 2357-59). Only the latter are condemned.
We can also affirm the genuine love that two people with SSA have for each other, but the attempted sexual expression of that love can never be legitimized. The obvious lack of bodily complementarity illustrates that one need not invoke God to make a compelling argument against homosexual sex. And trying to live chastely but as an exclusive “couple” is not recommended, either.
I suggest that you, your daughter, and others concerned view the documentary Desire of the Everlasting Hills, which the faithful Catholic apostolate Courage has produced. I also invite you to read a commentary I have written on ministering to those with SSA. God bless your efforts.
By Tom Nash