Can a homosexual person mary a heterosexual person of the opposite sex in the church?

Can a man/women who is homosexual or experiences same sex attractions, Mary someone of the opposite sex in the church?
Is a marriage not “valid” unless sexual intercourse is performed?
I have some elderly relatives who were married and never had any children, I don’t know if they had sex or not.
So what does the church teach on this issue?

Yes, as long as they intend to consummate the marriage.

Is a marriage not “valid” unless sexual intercourse is performed?

A couple can get a dispensation from having sexual relations, but that’s pretty rare. Normally, sexual intercourse is not only expected, but necessary to consummate a marriage.

I have some elderly relatives who were married and never had any children, I don’t know if they had sex or not.

Not every couple can have children even if neither is impotent. Not having children isn’t necessarily an indication of anything like that.

So what does the church teach on this issue?

A male/female couple must be able to consummate their marriage, be old enough, and be mentally/emotionally able to give their consent to being married. That’s about it, AFAIK. :slight_smile:


The only thing I would add is that it’s probably a good idea for the person with same-sex attraction to disclose that to their intended spouse.

I think technically if they do NOT disclose it, it’s grounds for annulment of the marriage as this is a pre-existing situation that could make the marriage invalid from the start. So yes, most definitely it should be divulged. The intended spouse should definitely know of this before consenting to marriage.

Just to clarify any possible confusion regarding the consummation of a marriage - Consent makes a valid marriage. Consummation makes marriage (between the baptized) indissoluable.

A Josephite marriage may never be consummated but that neither means that it is invalid or unapproved by the Church.

Also important. Is the person in question a homosexual, or just someone who experiences SSA? Bisexual people do exist, and marriage in the Church wouldn’t be a problem for them, assuming they’re committed to their husband or wife. Someone who defines themselves as strictly homosexual may not be called to heterosexual marriage, though, as that presents an impediment to sexual relations with their spouse.

The homosexual should definitely disclose his/her status. The heterosexual can’t give informed consent without that revelation. It may be that knowing it won’t make any difference but it may well be that knowing that your potential mate will never be sexually attracted to you is more than you can live with.

Of course they can - but of course, as others have mentioned, it would be good to disclose the information about their disorder to their potential spouse, and the same-sex attracted individual should probably be receiving some sort of counseling. Both by himself and possibly also with the potential spouse. I may be totally incorrect on this, but my suspicion is that many, if not most/all, same-sex attracted people are capable of sexual intercourse with the opposite sex, and indeed, many are probably called to marriage.

Even someone who definitely considers themselves “gay” may find themselves attracted to a woman. When I was involved in LGBT activism most of the men I knew who called themselves gay had had sexual experiences with women (obviously not moral ones since none were married) and were comfortable disclosing that they had, in fact, been attracted to them and enjoyed themselves.

I still agree about disclosure, but there are men who experience predominantly same-sex attraction who can still have very satisfying marriages. I think there are even a few on the forums.

(Exclusively may be a different issue, but AFAIK that’s not the case even for a lot of people who live the “gay lifestyle.”)

ETA: I’m not as familiar with the reverse situation. My anecdotal experience would seem to suggest that women who identify as strongly lesbian are more likely to be actually repulsed by the idea of sex with men, whereas gay men weren’t repulsed by the idea of sex with women and in many cases had sought it out and liked it.

Of course, ain’t nobody living chastely in these scenarios.

Well said.:thumbsup:

My sister married a gay man in the 50’s.
Spent 20 years suffering his insults and “pretending” to be happily married.
When she finally found a priest (after asking 13 of them) who supported her in leaving him, he was furious for “outing” him. (the other priests said it was her cross to bear).
It took her almost 6 years to be granted an annulment. No consummation of marriage.
Really sad. It’s nothing to play around with. It ruined her life. She felt that my parents would be scandalized. They were devastated when she finally told them. They would have supported her getting out of there day one. But she was an old school Catholic. She was embarrassed. The priests told her to be a better cook and he’ll come around. She just thought he was really polite and respectful while they were courting. Turns out, he just wanted/needed legitimacy. The night of their “honeymoon” he left with a man and didn’t come back for 3 days.
My parents has no idea. I was an infant at the time, and we were 4 states away.
She was all alone. My parents always wondered why they moved every 10 months or so. Every time his employers found out he was gay, he quit his job, and they moved. They had 27 addresses in 20 years.

Today, he sends her fancy chocolates for every holiday. :frowning:
I suppose he feels some bit of remorse. :shrug:

She has forgiven him.

did she know he was gay before they married?

I should probably not be butting in here, but…***

Her marriage may well have been declared null. *No consummation would not be a reason to do so.

Her marriage, if valid** but not consummated, could have been dissolved by an act of the Apostolic See.

(* Unless she or her putative husband were incapable to perform the marital act, not merely absent from it)

(** But it sounds like it wasn’t)

(*** Who Is Not A Canon Lawyer)

I think there are guys who have had some measure of SSA here on CAF who were married. I think they are comfortable with ladies as well as they seem to be happy family guys with kids.

That being said, I think unless the person in question is sure they were attracted in an intimate way to their wives, it would be a bit risky to marry.

Sorry, I thought I was clear. She thought he was just really polite in not being sexually forward.

Very true. I have no idea why it took forever to get the annulment.
She even was called to testify that she was still a virgin before a panel of priests. Which I have never heard of since. She was mortified, of course.

Bruce Jenner still like women. :shrug:

Bruce Jenner is apparently dating another transgender man who is now a woman.

it’s just curiouser and curiouser

If the person is sincerely attracted to the other person, maybe. I think a person who is 100% gay will be doing themselves and their spouse a great disservice by entering a heterosexual marriage. Sometimes people are called to the consecrated single life.

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