Note: I’m only sharing how the gay marriage ruling affected me. This post is not intended for you to become part of the Catholic Church or to start praying to solve every problem (although both things sure are nice). Also, this post is rated PG-13.
Three days ago (I think), the Supreme Court in America legalized gay marriage. Since I was in the Philippines–and still am right now–I don’t think I got to see as much of the whooping and joy and kisses and happiness and rainbows that I’m pretty sure my friends saw firsthand. On social media, yes, there sure were a lot of peeps that changed their avatars to rainbows, whether or not they were gay/lesbian, and a lot of posts about one step towards equality.
Now, I’m a Catholic, and the Catholic Church does not allow gay marriage. Here’s why. To say the very least, when you get married, you must consummate your marriage and it’s got to be an attempt to procreate. This can only happen between man and a woman, not two of the same gender. The Church doesn’t believe in test tube babies or reproductive technology that creates babies without sex. Anyways, I’ve read a lot of stuff that says the people opposed to gay marriage are bigots. Basically, this came out as: I belong to a really big, organized group of bigots.
I’m not trying to get back at those guys who said that the anti-gay marriage people are bigots. After all, it might be what most people would automatically think. I can’t blame them. The gay marriage ruling caused me some conflicting feelings. I actually want gays and lesbians to have the right to marry. (I don’t have LGBT friends, but I’m pretty sure I will. I have a pansexual friend–does that count?) I wanted to be happy for their freedom, yet it seemed like the Church said no. So I put the blame on myself. I thought, maybe I was a bigot after all.
I recalled all the discriminating stuff I used to accept. When I was younger, I’m pretty sure I acted in ways that were discriminating. For example, when I was little I used to think that people couldn’t marry out of their race. A Japanese could marry an Filipino because they were both Asian (even though some people classify Filipinos as their own race, not Asian or Pacific Islander), but a Filipino couldn’t marry a Swede because a Swede was Caucasian. If a Filipino married a Swede, I thought, then they would produce a bunch of deformed babies. Now, of course, I know this is not true. Later on, I found out that most Filipinos have a wee bit of Spanish in them, and I have many mixed-race friends. In another example, I remember we were putting on a play based on a book in class. The book had only Caucasian characters. However, my class was not all-Caucasian. So I blatantly pointed out, “But the play shouldn’t have any blacks or Asians or Native Americans.” A classmate replied to this, “You’re racist!”
Even though these experiences didn’t have to do with gay marriage, they still kinda had to do with discrimination. So this gay marriage ruling wasn’t the first time I was faced with stuff about bigotry and equality, but it was my first experience with religious institutions having something to say about it.
I started to cry. What am I? I thought. What’s the right way forward? Should I stop being a Catholic or do I stay and forget about this whole thing? Well, no one will forget about this, so the latter isn’t possible. Getting out of the Church is possible, but that means giving up your faith. I’m not ready to do that.
My mom says that the best thing to do in these situations is to pray. So I waited till all the salty rawness of it all passed, and I got out my Rosary. It’s a string of prayer beads used to count the prayers, and it kinda looks like a necklace. I also read this and remembered that at the heart of the Catholic Church, it’s not about whether gays should marry. It’s about love for one another, regardless of sexuality or beliefs. After bearing those in mind, I felt a lot better and happier.