There are so many paradoxes that make any issue involving sexuality and sexual behaviors fraught with complication. I firmly believe that the “eww factor” had for a long time caused Christians to distance themselves from gay people, and this was tragic because before the progressives co-opted the entire issue, there could’ve been positive, morally acceptable ministries to help gay people carry their heavy crosses knowing that they are part of a community, children of God. Moreover, straight and gay single people could at least partially help one another in efforts to live chastely according to each’s state in life and particular struggles.
In my friendships with gay and lesbian people, I did my best, albeit imperfectly I’m sure, to relate to the person first and foremost, whilst also making it clear that I would be following the Church’s teaching on the moral aspects. I also did the best I could to empathize with the grief some felt over not being allowed to marry a person of the same sex, pointing out that we are still called to chastity as single persons and that it’s not always easy even for straight people.
Yes, there is hope of eventual marriage for some straights in the abstract, but in reality many of us have the odds stacked against us for various reasons. For me, for example, it has been my psychiatric difficulties of anxiety and PTSD and other things that really cramp my style - in short, I find it hard to connect with men, to control my nervousness, overcome my awkwardness, and get one to even ask me out. I’m terribly nervous if one does and struggle on first dates, rarely get asked for second dates . . . During my fertile years, although I yearned to be a mom on one hand, I feared how my panic attacks might negatively impact my ability to be there for my hypothetical children. The predictable result was that I remain unmarried.
Sorry for the digression there . . . :o Back to the concept of Christians at the church/parish level being more welcoming to gays and lesbians without compromising morality: Nowadays that ship seems to have sailed and we are all the worse for it. Christians swayed by progressive propaganda have capitulated to the idea that to accept the gay person entails enthusiastically accepting gay practices, and if requested, giving them the official approbation by equating their “marriages” with true marriage.
Don’t let it be forgotten that a similar process has already been happening for the last couple of decades or more with the matter of cohabitation and other irregular unions among straights. These “alternative” unions were increasingly protected under the “don’t judge” cultural gag order on anyone who would suggest the practices are immoral. Sex on the third date, cohabitation soon afterward, fiance’s pretty much always living under the same roof, sometimes for years, while planning a fancy wedding whose symbolism and significance beyond conspicuous consumerism and “self expression” eludes me.
With regard to any of these things, straight or gay, that have come to be lauded in the public square rather than seen as the aberrations they once were, it has come to the point where John and Jane Doe Average Christian are given the choice with regard to how to relate to persons in unmarried straight OR gay unions or “gay marriages”: Either take the script handed down by the politically correct thought police and follow it rigorously, or be labeled and persecuted as bigots and haters.
None of this is made easier by the fact that sex IS a private matter in many ways - when this concept is carrried to the extreme on the one hand, we get the famous “The Church has no place in the bedroom” mentality. It may be a sound bite of rebellious folks, who misunderstand that the Church isn’t meaning to meddle but rather to help, and that the human race does have a stake in the family, and that marriage is a reflection of the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. But some feel it intrusive, and until their understanding is awakened, that is where they’re coming from.
And it would rightly be immodest to expect people to go around proclaiming publicly the details of their sexual goings-on (though that doesn’t stop many of them from posting them on Facebook :rolleyes: ). Therefore we are hampered by lack of information - is So-and-So gay? Should we therefore discreetly slip him/her a pamphlet about the gay/lesbian ministry “just in case”? Even if our “gaydar” is ringing loudly, it is obviously impolite to let on, to confront the person(s) with information they have not given permission to publicly acknowledge. Confidentiality is kept very meticulously in organizations such as Courage and Encourage. So everyone’s hands are tied . . . and then along comes the tide of public opinion and the changes, suddenly SCOTUS hands down a ruling that’s a game-changer - I don’t know. I’ve pondered all of this for years and there are no easy answers. :shrug: