Can I be a gay friendly photographer?

Can I advertise myself as a gay friendly photographer?

I am Catholic.

If you mean that you would gladly shoot photos of same sex “couples” (including, possibly, same sex couples making displays of affection, or at least posed as couples) for profit, then I would say, emphatically, no. Doing so would give the impression that you condone it. You may need to post one of those “we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason” disclaimers, although I understand that these are not legally fail-safe. If someone sues you, you will have to man it up and stand up for what is right and true. Following Christ comes at a cost–but what we gain is infinite in value.

Thanks for this question. I hope someone will address this.

I serve a lot of gay people at my job. I am well known to be a practicing Catholic. They are well known to be gay!

Apparently, they don’t consider my religion to be an impediment to working with me. They definitely have a choice.

I present myself as a Catholic person who will will hard, in the best interest of anyone who hires me. This is exactly what I do. But I do wonder sometimes if I am doing something against the church.

I tell myself that treating people with respect is the right thing to do. I just can’t see imposing my beliefs on others. But I wonder sometimes, if I am going to wake up one day and realize I’m off the mark somehow. So I really appreciate your bringing this up.

It’s like the bakery in Colorado who did not want to make a gay wedding cake. I respect that, but if they’d have made the cake, because it’s their job to make cakes, I would have respected that as well.


What is a gay friendly photographer? Do you mean you are a photographer by trade who is friendly and gay?:shrug:

I don’t see how providing a service to people is necessarily an endorsement of what they do, so I don’t see how this is really a problem.

Does changing the oil in a Westboro Baptist car mean I am supporting their message and/or actions? Absolutely not, it shows I’m capable of remaining professional in my business dealings. Even with whom I fundamentally disagree.

Ditto to selling them materials or even bandwidth for their websites.

By gay friendly photographer, do you mean you’re willing to shoot weddings or are you trying to simply convey a message of “hey I’m a Catholic but I’m not going to be all up in your face if you hire me?”

I think you are approving of their behavior if you’re going to take their business.

It seems we need to evangelize with our actions as Catholics. To b e a gay friendly photographer is to conform to the culture and be like every other Christian denomination that has no problem with people living a homosexual lifestyle.

There is a difference though in performing a service despite not condoning it and specifically advertising that you are “x friendly”.

Suppose I was anti-racist (I’m mean I am… you know what I mean :D), but I had a gun store and advertised as “KKK friendly”. It doesn’t matter if I privately oppose racism if I am trying to get a competitive advantage by putting myself forward specifically condoning an immoral stance. When a photographer say they are “Gay Friendly” it means that they not only willingly will do the job, but that they in fact fully support the specific actions they are “friendly” too. It goes beyond looking the other way when sin presents itself, but says not only am I okay with it, but “sign me up to celebrate it with you.”

I agree with what others here have said; it is really important to respectfully and professionally give your services as a photographer to gay people, however advertising yourself as “gay friendly” in our culture it means you support gay culture. That is part of what it means, it doesn’t just mean you smile and joke with them. Even if it would bring you extra business I think it would be wrong and dishonest (indeed, even dishonest to gay people as well as yourself)

Goodluck making your decision, it can’t be easy!

You made me laugh so much :slight_smile:

What I mean to say by gay friendly is that I’m willing to do business with them (shoot their “wedding”). I do not support their lifestyle (but they don’t have to know that).

Funny thing you mentioned Colorado. This week my state of Colorado found it unconstitutional to deny gay couples marriage licenses (or at least that’s what I understood). This is why I’m asking the question. I have a feeling it is going to affect me.


So, it seems like I’m in the decided minority here, in my belief that it is not morally acceptable for a Catholic to do a photo shoot for a same-sex “wedding”.

Whatever happened to,

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet."

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

No, you’re not in the minority here, I am agreeing with you. I believe there is plenty of precedent for Christians standing up for their conscience rights in the course of doing business. I have also seen that there is precedent for those same Christians being bullied, harrassed, mocked, sued, and forced out of business and into the poorhouse by not only courts of law but the court of public opinion.

I think that this is a very serious question facing us in the culture wars today. Do we stand up for our beliefs and suffer the loss of our livelihoods? Or do we just lie down and let homosexualists steamroll those strongly-held beliefs? Perhaps anyone in this predicament needs to seek good counsel from their pastor and diocese, and not to mention legal counsel as well.

I’ve never seen anyone advertise themselves this way. I don’t think you need to do this.

I think most people assume a photographer/person would be “gay friendly” unless they specified otherwise.


Very well said. I think I’m going to have to talk to my diocese.

I guess advertising myself as gay friendly would be something extra that could be done to perhaps bring in more money.

There are websites where photographers are listed that are “gay friendly.” They have lists of individuals who would do the work.

I wouldn’t exactly put that on my website.

Oh, I agree with you. I was just answering if it’s okay to advertise one thing while not condoning it.

You mention being in Colorado. Not sure if you are in the Diocese of Colorado Springs or the Denver Archdiocese. Having met and heard Bishop Sheridan and reading many things from Archbishop Aquila I don’t expect you will get a thumbs up on advertising to shoot gay weddings. I don’t know much about Bishop Berg in Pueblo since he’s only been there for a couple months, but I’d be surprised if he would green light such an action.

Personally for me it’s why I couldn’t be in an industry that is in the wedding industry. If I was a photographer I’d have to decline shooting any wedding and stick to things like senior pictures. I might starve, but I couldn’t smile and share the “joyous occasion”. Doubt that any couple would like a photographer that is scowling or closing their eyes when they frame a shot. But that’s just me. I tend to wear my feelings on my sleeve.

No need for that, unless you are specifically supporting a certain kind of lifestyle or behavior that is disordered and can lead to grave sin.

I don’t advertise myself as straight-friendly, minority-friendly, sinner-friendly, etc. because Christ calls me to love my neighbor as myself. So I don’t need to advertise myself as anything-friendly, I just need to follow Christ.

In particular, with regards to brothers and sisters who experience same-sex attractions, the Church already teaches in the Catechism:

They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

I would not provide photography for any things that may be sinful, regardless of sexual attraction. The specifics may be matter of spiritual direction with your confessor, who can provide no-nonsense advice that you won’t (and probably shouldn’t) get on a public forum.

Shooting a gay “wedding” is to directly assist with an immoral event. I do not think that that would be acceptable. But doing photography work that is not assisting with an immoral event or similar for customers who happen to be gay is, of course, fine.

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