How to Respond Gracefully - Gay Friend Getting Married

In college, I became close friends with a small group of girls. After college, one of them came out as lesbian and began dating another girl. They just got engaged, and I am expecting to be asked to be a bridesmaid or participate in the wedding in some way.

My friends know that I am a devout Catholic, but I think they may expect me to put my beliefs aside in the name of friendship. Of course, if I only act out my beliefs when it’s easy, they mean nothing. I know I cannot participate in this wedding.

Does anyone have any advice about how to handle this situation? What words to use, ways to explain it, etc.? I know this is going to hurt my friends’ feelings, but I don’t want to totally destroy our friendship or make them hate Christianity.

1 Like

Say sorry, IF ASKED, I cannot serve in your “wedding” or even attend it. And just leave it at that. We either please God or please others. Which one matters most to you?

13 Likes

“I love you and pray for your happiness. I’d love to take you and Sally to dinner, maybe after you get through all the wedding craziness!”

If she asks you to be part of the wedding, no need for a big sermon, a simple “I am not available on that date/weekend” is all you need to say.

13 Likes

Just be humble and refuse any spots of prominence in the wedding and maybe stop talking to the group for a while and maybe they will overlook you. The current virus provides an excellent oppurtunity for you to lay low for a while until the wedding comes.

2 Likes

I would say something along the lines of this:

I think you know how much I value, and have always valued, our friendship. I wish you and [whatever her name is] all the happiness in the world, and I hope all three of us can be friends. However, as much as I value our friendship, it would violate my conscience to be a part of this wedding, and I think you know why. I cannot act counter to my Faith or to my conscience, and I wouldn’t expect you to either, if it were the other way around. You and yours will always be welcome in my home, and you will always be in my heart, but I just can’t do this. I hope I can count on you to understand.

I wouldn’t have a problem in the world with giving them a housewarming gift, or something like that. That is just a decent, loving gesture, and does not condone their marriage.

14 Likes

“wedding craziness”? That sounds like a diversion. I know this is a difficult situation, but Christianity is not supposed to be easy, in a world in love with sin.

5 Likes

“a housewarming gift” sounds like an endorsement of their new “home together”, to me…

15 Likes

If you are very close, I don’t know that just saying “I’m busy that day” will be accepted and preserve your friendship. I think you should expect to say why you will not attend succinctly and charitably.

“I’m sorry that I cannot attend. I am Catholic and believe marriage can only occur between one man and woman. I know you are not Catholic and would never ask you to conform to my beliefs, please understand that I also cannot abandon those beliefs even for a brief period.”

24 Likes

In a similar situation, I have genuine love for the young woman - closely related - who has gone into this way of life. It was and remains heartbreaking that I am now completely shut out of any real relationship with several family members. But I saw - and see - no way to approach the whole situation than to remain faithful to the truth. This kind of relationship is wrong in the eyes of God - and His way is the only way to real and lasting happiness and peace. I deeply, deeply love and care about the young woman - and because of that love, I cannot offer her anything but the truth. The way she is choosing is the way of brokenness, and eventual unhappiness, and trouble. God made us all for one way - His way - and only in His way can we find happiness, and our very selves.

I ask her to please listen to His way. Listen for His will - and the way of Truth. There - in the actual Truth of our human nature is the created sanctuary for God - and He is what we all need.

It hurts. The Cross hurts. Truth brings pain, in a dark and darkening world that wants to live outside of Truth. But for those who seek and find it, the Truth brings real goodness - His goodness.

8 Likes

Yes, I agree. “Faith, hope, and love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.”

3 Likes

I am borrowing the words of Saint Josemaria…

“Give the polite excuse which christian charity and social convention demand. And then… on your way again! With holy shamelessness, without stopping until you have finally scaled the heights of duty.”

5 Likes

I don’t see the problem.

I would say sorry i cant. And take it from there.
A true friend respects others religious beliefs.

7 Likes

Difficult situation. You want to love and respect your friends, but not enable a scandalous make-believe. Great advice in this thread. Personally I would excuse myself and carefully explain my convictions, asking them to please respect them and that I act with genuine care for their total well-being, not just their temporary desires and feelings.

2 Likes

You’ll just have to say that you can’t. There is no easy way. Just let her know that you love her, value her, and wish her nothing but the best.

Her feelings will be hurt. If she values the friendship, in time she will heal from it.

Wishing you strength as you walk through this.

8 Likes

I think the more loving thing to do is to go and support your friend. Taking the kind of stand that the others are suggesting seems divisive and not christian. I know this is a conservative site but there are other ways to look at this.

3 Likes

I don’t think conservatism has anything to do with it. If to love means to will the good of another, it cannot be loving to support /encourage them in sin. I acknowledge it is a difficult situation, but the OP can both demonstrate love for her friend and refuse to attend or take part in the ceremony.

16 Likes

We have to make sure we don’t confuse being Christian and charitable with being nice and not offending anyone. The two are not the same. Sometimes the Christian thing to do is not nice, and may offend someone or as you said, feel divisive. That’s ok. Standing up for the truth and for God is more important.

19 Likes

To the OP, clearly you are asking for advice on how to turn down your friend’s invitation to participate if asked , not for advice how whether or not you should participate, which is admirable. I support the sentiments expressed above by HomeschoolDad in post #4 and ZemD post #7. Remaining kind when briefly stating your reason will be appreciated by her, if not at the moment then certainly in the future.

2 Likes

Tough spot. It might be better to preemptively express to her that you cannot be part of her wedding, before she asks you. And as others have said, surround it in a whole lot of love. Something like, “As much as I love you, I can’t betray my deepest beliefs.”

1 Like
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.