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The Vatican was released a statement This week they reaffirm their support for same-sex relationships but vow they will not bless their unions in the Catholic Church. The bulletin claims that the Church will continue to bless individuals in the LGBTQ + community who follow Church teaching but firmly believe that they “cannot justify these relationships and make them legitimate objects of ecclesiastical blessing as the positive elements exist in them the context of a union that does not conform to the creator’s plan. ”
The statement contradicts the growing acceptance of LGBTQ + members in the Catholic Church. In 2014, the Pew Research Center found that 85% of Catholics Age 18-29 supports same-sex relationships and marriage, and a Survey taken in 2015 54% of Christian groups accepted same-sex relationships. Like the Vatican or not, there are churches and religious groups around the world that affirm same-sex unification.
What does this mean for the Catholic LGBTQ community?
This attitude does not come as a shock to the history of the company Catholic Church and Same-Sex Relationships, but it’s a detriment to the advances that have been made for the love and welfare of the LGBTQ + community. The federal government only passed the law in the last six years Legalize same-sex marriage in the United States.
Despite this affirmation of human rights, specific laws have been put in place in the name of religion to prevent same-sex couples from enjoying civil rights. States like Tennessee signed a bill Adoption agencies may deny same-sex couples access to adoption services based on religious freedom. If the Catholic Church refuses to give its blessings to same-sex association, it only encourages such discrimination.
Fortunately, several churches and priests denounce the position of the Vatican and will continue to hold same-sex ceremonies. Pastors in Austria told the story Reuters“In solidarity with so many, we will not reject any loving couple in the future who asks to celebrate God’s blessing, which they experience every day, including in a church service.” Austrian priests join a number of priests and churches who have vowed to honor the union of same-sex couples.
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How to find churches and religious institutions that embrace same-sex marriage
The site gaychurch.org, while not the most comprehensive name, advertises itself as “the world’s largest welcoming and affirming directory of churches”. The home page of the site displays the rainbow flag and a search button in the front and center. Once you hit “Search” you will be taken to the “Find a Church” card where you can enter your zip code or address.
I typed in my own zip code and found a list of 100 affirmative churches in my area, including the names, addresses of the churches, a map of their locations, and their websites. The list also includes the denomination of the Church and a line item indicating whether or not they are entering into same-sex marriages. The website also offers resources on “Homosexuality and the Bible, ” Booksand a list of same-sex denominations.