Recently, my friend Joe posed a question on his blog "Why are there so many gays who are ex-Catholics?"
Below, I have pasted my response.
I would have to agree. I grew up in a very Catholic home, yet anything "gay" was never really talked about. There was a guy at my school (a Catholic 1-12), several years ahead of me, that came out after he graduated. People in our circle, not just at home, didn't seem to talk to, or about him after that. It wasn't until after I was married and became friends with a couple of gay men, that I realized how lacking my life had been on the topic. These were nice people, generally good people. I liked them. I almost felt guilty within my extended family for being friends with them, because I thought Catholics didn't do that. I started looking into what the Church teaches about homosexuality, and what science says about it, and how society treats it.
What I found was that the Church wants us to love our neighbors, gay or straight, as ourselves. Period. I understand the reasons, according to nature and our physiology, why the Church condemns homosexual intercourse; it just isn't how God designed us. We cannot reach our full biological function within those parameters.
Science taught me that, at least with men, there is a specific point in fetal development where a lack of sufficient testosterone has been shown to be the cause of their homosexuality. It would not be totally unreasonable to argue that, in the case of women, the cause could be linked to too much testosterone. Although, it seems to me that some women have "become gay" after a traumatic experience with a man. I have two female cousins, one from either side of my family, who are gay and who were abused by men very close to them, as children. It seems to me to be a sort of self-preservation, as opposed to something that has always been there. These are the women who tend to still be somewhat "girlie", while their sisters who are "birthers" tend to be more butch; which would go along with the theory of too much testosterone during fetal development.
What I saw in society made me very, very sad. Because so many of us within the faith would rather just sweep gays under the rug instead of accepting them with loving arms, those gays who need our love the most turn to anyone and anything that will give them some semblance of acceptance. When they do finally find a niche, they often become angry and belligerent, lashing out at the world in any way they can. Just look at most of the people who attend the Gay Pride parade in San Francisco. They do anything they can do to get attention; strange dress, no dress, lewd behavior in public, anything goes. It is just like the child whose parents ignore him, so he misbehaves in order to get their attention. Unfortunately, these very visible souls, who are crying out for true love and affection, cast a shadow over the majority of their peers, who just want to live a quiet life. It is near impossible to get people to see that most gays are nice, quiet, people when that is all we see.
I think things are getting better for gays, from a secular standpoint, at least. While many have tried to turn Prop 8 into a civil rights issue, which I personally disagree that that is what it is, there have been many problems that I would classify as civil rights issues, that have been addressed; such as employment and housing discrimination, and domestic partnership benefits. I know that I may be scorned for being in favor of those benefits, but since I know that not everyone holds to my religious beliefs and moral standards, I see it as no different than heterosexual couples who cohabitate. If a man and a woman can live together and get the same legal benefits as a married couple, homosexual couples should also be allowed those rights. There was a story a few years ago about a man in Sonoma who had been with his partner for 50 years, and when his partner died, all he had to show for it was a photo album, because the partner's family swooped in and claimed family rights to his estate, and excluded him from everything. This made me so angry and sad, that they could show so little respect for this person. Then there are the many cases of domestic partners not having the right to make medical decisions for each other. There have been so many cases where one partner is in critical condition and doctors need the family's consent to do a procedure, but refuses to accept consent from the one person who probably knows best what the patient's wishes would be. A lot of times there isn't even anyone else to ask, because their families have ostracized them and they are not in contact.
I know I have been rattling on here; I guess your question struck a nerve. I should probably post this as an entry on my own blog, that has been getting ignored by me.
This is me, doing what I said I should do. This is a topic that has become near and dear to my heart. It really bothers me how so many Christians forget that Jesus didn't say "Love your neighbors, unless they are gay"; He said for us to love each other as ourselves. Period. Today is Valentine's Day, and we are inundated with a commercial form of "love". Let us stop and reflect upon what real love is, and where it comes from.