When my son came out to me, I immediately knew what I needed to do. I told my son then and many times since that I love him.
I am among the majority of Catholics who stand on the side of love when it comes to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) family and friends. This week, however, I was reminded that there are still those who think Catholics are willing to stand on the side of discrimination.
Confidential documents from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), an anti-gay and supposedly faith-based organization, had been released by court order and were published online earlier this week.
The internal documents included plans to pit Latinos and Blacks against gays and to use Catholic officials as part of the process.
NOM imagined they could use people of color by making “opposition to gay marriage an identity marker” of the Latino culture and their strategists wanted “to drive a wedge between gays and blacks.”
Additionally, NOM planned to use their “close relationships with Catholic bishops” to carry out some of their anti-gay policies and the organization itself was being funded in part by high-level officials of the Catholic fraternal organization, the Knights of Columbus.
This may be their plan, but it won’t get very far.
What NOM and Knights of Columbus officials may not know is that Catholics, more than any other Christian denomination in the United States, support legal recognition of same-gender couples. We understand that being in relationship isn’t always easy. Couples and families—gay or straight—need all the support we as a society can offer and civil legal recognition is a step in the right direction.
What NOM also may not know is that people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender are also people of color. How does one drive “a wedge between gays and blacks” when there are those who are gay and Black or lesbian and Latina?
As a person of faith, sometimes I wonder what Jesus would say to my gay son, but I have a feeling he would probably repeat what his own Father said to him: “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17).
One thing is clear: NOM has a lot of learning to do about love. They might try turning to scripture where Jesus reminds us that the greatest commandment is love; not racism or homophobia. Just love.
David Saavedra is Co-President of the national board of Call To Action, an organization that seeks justice in the Catholic Church. He is also a member of the Call To Action Anti-Racism Team.[Photo By essygie]