Gay Catholics “Disturbed and Disappointed” by Pope’s Remarks in Philippines,

Strongly Differ with his Suggestion that Support for Gay Marriage is “Ideological”

“DignityUSA is disturbed and disappointed by Pope Francis’ remarks in the Philippines referring to support for same-sex marriage as ‘ideological colonization…that is trying to destroy the family,’” said the organization’s Executive Director, Marianne Duddy-Burke.  “Especially in light of the more welcoming and sensitive tone on LGBT issues that the Pope has taken over the past two years, it is disconcerting to hear a phrase that is a hallmark of extreme right-wing religious leaders and politicians coming from the leader of the Catholic Church.  We hope that these recent remarks do not represent a resurgence of anti-marriage equality activity from the Vatican and the world’s Catholic bishops, just a short time after the Pope seemed to discourage such activity in the United States and elsewhere.

“The reality,” Duddy-Burke continued, “is that support for same-sex marriage has nothing to do with ideology, or with the destruction of any family.  It has arisen as individuals, families, and governments around the world have come to understand that without this protection our families face many unjust obstacles and hardships.  People support same-sex marriage because they believe in love, commitment, justice, equality, and supporting all families. These are values that transcend ideology, culture and geography, and they are values absolutely central to the Catholic faith.  Furthermore, it is not only completely untrue but dangerous to suggest that gay marriage is a threat to the family.  Such inflammatory language, particularly when it comes from religious leaders, has often been used as justification for discrimination and violence against LGBT people.”

Duddy-Burke concluded, “Many Catholic families still find themselves facing conflicts between what their Church teaches and what they know of their LGBT children in loving relationships.  They know that their gay kids’ commitments are just as real, deep and loving as those of their straight kids.  Yet they are taught that this commitment should not be honored. That causes real difficulties for families, for homeless and troubled LGBT youth, and for all LGBT people seeking to lead lives of equality and integrity.  These are the gay issues that the Pope should be addressing. We in DignityUSA and many other Catholics will be carrying this message to the Pope and other Church leaders this year, as we prepare for the World Meeting of Families and the conclusion of the Synod on the Family in the fall.”


DignityUSA is the nation’s foremost organization of LGBT Catholics, our families, friends, and supporters. Founded in 1969, it is a founding member of the Equally Blessed Coalition.