Same-sex controversies

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Teaching of the Church


Genesis 2:24
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one flesh.
Genesis 19
The story of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Leviticus 18:22
"You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination."
Leviticus 20:13
If a man lies with a male as with a female, both of them have committed an abomination.
Romans 1:18-32

18 The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven against every impiety and wickedness of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness.

19 For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them.

20 Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse;

21 for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened.

22 While claiming to be wise, they became fools

23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes.

24 Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies.

25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural,

27 and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper.

29 They are filled with every form of wickedness, evil, greed, and malice; full of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery, and spite. They are gossips

30 and scandalmongers and they hate God. They are insolent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in their wickedness, and rebellious toward their parents.

31 They are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

32 Although they know the just decree of God that all who practice such things deserve death, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

1 Corinthians 6:9.
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the fornicators [πόρνοι], nor idolaters, nor adulterers [μοιχοὶ], nor male prostitutes [μαλακοὶ] nor homosexual offenders [ἀρσενοκοῖται] nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanders nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Timothy 1:8-11

8 We know that the law is good, provided that one uses it as law,

9 with the understanding that law is meant not for a righteous person but for the lawless and unruly, the godless and sinful, the unholy and profane, those who kill their fathers or mothers, murderers,

10 the unchaste, sodomites, kidnapers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is opposed to sound teaching,

11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

Jude 1:7
Likewise, Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding towns, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual promiscuity [ἐκπορνεύσασαι] and practiced unnatural vice, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

Greek vocabulary

πόρνοι sexually immoral, fornicators, male prostitutes
μοιχοὶ adulterers
μαλακοὶ effeminate, male prostitutes
ἀρσενοκοῖται males who bed males, sodomite, male homosexual, pederast
ἀνδραποδισταῖς men-stealers, kidnappers, enslavers, slave traders, slaveholders
ἐκπορνεύσασαι fornicators


CCC 2357-2359
Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,[1] tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."[2] They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

Genetic argument

Twin studies refute the concept that there is a "gay gene." There is only an 11% correlation when identical twins are separated at birth, but both become gay.[3] If there were a gay gene, the rate would be closer to 100%, as it is with other genetic attributes such as eye color (98% correlation).[4]

Same sex "marriage"

It isn't even sex!

As Bill Clinton said so well, "I never had sex with that woman."

Real sexual union is always between a male and a female, and always involves the proper use of their genitals--the organs designed to generate new life. In the natural act of marriage, the two truly become "one flesh" because the couple is engaging in the only biological activity that, by its very nature, has the power to produce new life. The two acting together have a power that no other form of genital stimulation can produce: reproduction requires two acting as one organism.

Everything else is a parody of sex. The sexual organs are stimulated and respond as if they were being used in the procreative manner, but it is only simulation of sex, not the real thing.

We are being asked to treat fool's gold as if it were a precious metal. The superficial similarities disguise huge differences in value. No amount of legislation can turn unrealities into realities.

Telling the difference

Science informs us that sex is related to procreation: the action achieved by natural sexual relations is the transmission of genetic material from the male to the female, which is the natural means by which men and women come into being. The male reaches the summit of pleasure in transmitting the material; the woman's body is perfectly designed to receive the genetic material, conceive a child, gestate for nine months, then nurture the baby after birth. People who separate the pleasure of sexuality from the power of procreation are turning a blind eye to the basic biology of sex.

The unitive power of sexual pleasure is necessarily related to the power of a man and woman to conceive a child. This is a natural association. This is the intrinsic structure of the act of love. Although it is possible to enjoy union without giving life, the pleasure comes from engaging in the act by which sons and daughters are naturally generated.

The man has the power to give; the female has the power to receive. What is given and received is what is necessary to begin a new life within the woman's body.

The natural law favors monogamy. Nature requires precisely and only one man and one woman to create a new life. The child has a right to be parented by a united couple for the whole of its life.

To deny that sex is naturally oriented toward procreation is to deny the truths of biology. The motivation for the denial is easy to see: pleasure feels good, while becoming a parent entails a lifetime of service to the child. The body can be fooled into thinking that it is engaged in the procreative act when, in fact, it is not.

From the standpoint of the Church's teaching on natural law, same sex unions are "pseudogamy"--counterfeits of marriage. Same-sex couples may take on all of the outward appearances of a husband and wife, but they lack the one thing necessary: the power to give life through a natural act of love. The fact that doctors can artificially arrange for a child to be born of one member of the couple through in vitro fertilization (IVF) does not change this basic fact that the children so created are not the fruit of a natural act of love but are, lamentably, products of scientific technology.

Piero A. Tozzi, J.D., "My Lewinsky Moment":
The State, for its part, has no legitimate interest whatsoever in licensing same-sex relationships, be they based on friendship or misdirected eros. The State’s interest in marriage originates in a simple biological fact: when men and women congress, children inevitably result. The State thus has an interest in regulating and promoting stable unions among men and women--and for that matter, discouraging unstable ones--such as by privileging marital unions through the tax code and the allocation of benefits, as it is parents who uniquely provide for the common good by ensuring the continued existence of civilization into the future. [emphasis added]

Intrinsically sterile actions

In natural union, the organs and activities that cause pleasure are directly related to the procreation of children, even though it happens that many couples cannot conceive.

In same-sex couples, there is no correlation whatsoever of the organs and activities that give pleasure and those that are the source of life. There is nothing on par with the "one flesh" union of male and female.

Creating children through surrogates or adopting them from their natural parents does not rectify the basic biological nonsense of same-sex activities.

Clarifying terms

In the natural law, there is only one relationship that fulfills the evident design of the body: union between one man and one woman using their procreative organs. The Church does not specify a time, location, or position for the completion of the act of love, but it does teach that the couple use the proper organs properly, so that the union of the two is open to the creation of new life.

With that as the norm, every other use of our sexual powers, alone or with others, appears as abnormal and unnatural.

Evolutionary biologists teach that the animal goal of union is to become the origin of a multitude of descendants, all sharing the parents' genetic heritage. If that is the natural purpose of animal union, then same-sex union is clearly unnatural. No genes can be transmitted to the next generation by means of same-sex relationships.

From Privacy to Publicity

Same-sex activists and hedonists both demanded a right to privacy. "What happens in the bedroom between consenting adults is of no concern to anyone else."

Now that has morphed very rapidly into a demand to place abnormal relationships on par with the norm. "We want everyone to know what we are doing in the privacy of our own home. Society must place the actions that give us pleasure on par with those actions that have the power to produce new life."

Consequences of calling same-sex relations "marriage

The Church has long accepted the decriminalization of sexual sins.

The drive to place same-sex relations on par with natural marriage goes beyond keeping private acts between consenting adults private; those who advocate the establishment of same-sex "marriage" have a much broader agenda:

  • Changing school curricula.
  • Forcing churches to perform same-sex weddings.
  • Gaining access to banquet halls.
  • Adopting children.
  • Compelling the Church to change her teachings on sexuality. It may become a "hate crime" to read from the Catechism of the Catholic Church in the future.

If there is no God ...

... then the hatred of the Church and the desire to force her to change her teachings makes perfect sense.

If there is no God, then religion is just arbitrary and capricious. All religions are equally respectable and equally meaningless. No real harm can be done to any religious group by setting aside their arbitrary beliefs and imposing new beliefs selected by the government.

Self-sterilizing couples ally with same-sex advocates

Couples who sterilize themselves temporarily or permanently are natural allies of the same-sex lobby. Both groups believe that it is good to separate the pleasure of sexual union from the power of procreation. As a consequence, both think of marriage in terms of the benefits to partners rather than in terms of duties to children.

Both groups assert that marriage exists for the benefit of the couple rather than for the benefit of children.

"‘Gay’ Marriage and Contraception."
In every nation, bar none, contraception has led to abortion—and from abortion to infanticide, the prelude to full-blown euthanasia! Once the purposes of sex are torn loose from procreation and the family, the homosexual thrust rears its ugly head, teen pregnancies and abortions sky-rocket, VD burgeons out of control, the divorce rate escalates, the birthrate falls, while the barnyard approach to birth control called sterilization becomes commonplace. Soon we see the swift disintegration of the family.
At this point in our history as a nation, and particularly as Catholics, we should be able to see clearly, based on what has already transpired in the culture and the law, that Wednesday’s Supreme Court decisions are not really a surprise at all. In fact, they represent a natural progression in man’s desire to denigrate the natural law, distort it, and otherwise trample on truth in deference to politically popular buzzwords such as “freedom of choice” or “personal rights.”

Unjust to the children

"Same-Sex Parenting: Child Abuse?"
This holds true not only for same-sex parenting, but for any choice to parent a child in a less-than-ideal setting for a less-than-grave reason. It’s abuse, for example, for a single parent to adopt a child when many other equally good two-parent homes are available. It’s abuse for parents to divorce simply for reasons related to their own emotional happiness. It’s abuse for LGBT couples to create children through IVF and then deprive them of a mother or father.
After months of presenting a whitewashed portrait of same-sex parenting, the Post finally ran a letter from Tommy Valentine of Alexandra, Virginia, warning the proponents of homosexual adoption that “A child is not a commodity to be coveted, like the car or house,” and “Even with an ‘open adoption’ arrangement with his birth mother, Kyler [the adoptee] is being deprived of the unique, irreplaceable impact of a life with a mother and father.”
Every child has a mother and father, and when that figure is missing, there is a narrative that is experienced as pain, loss, and at times shame.
Does the silence of so many surrounding parties reverse the sense of loss? No. The child still feels the loss, but learns to remain silent about it because her loss has become a taboo, a site of repression, rather than a site for healing and reconstruction. The abuse comes full circle.
For many kids of same-sex couples, this was a familiar experience: we only count when we make gay people look good. Otherwise, we must shut up.
Many gay parenting advocates say these are more noble scenarios since they “wanted” the child, but they are wrong. They imposed their vision ruthlessly on a helpless being and then extorted gratitude. The false equivalency used in order to make the child “love” a second parent of the same sex is coerced and injurious.
"What About the Children? American College of Pediatricians Warns Against Same-Sex Families."
But one organization that does not endorse homosexual parenting is the American College of Pediatricians.
“The environment in which children are reared is absolutely critical to their development,” the college states in a position statement about homosexual parenting posted in the “Position Statements” section of its website,
“Given the current body of research, the American College of Pediatricians believes it is inappropriate, potentially hazardous to children, and dangerously irresponsible to change the age-old prohibition on homosexual parenting, whether by adoption, foster care, or by reproductive manipulation,” it says. “This position is rooted in the best available science.”
The American College of Pediatricians’ position statement references the many studies that have found that children thrive best in families with a married mother and father.

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1986

Ratzinger, "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons," 1 October 1986.
7. ... It is only in the marital relationship that the use of the sexual faculty can be morally good. A person engaging in homosexual behaviour therefore acts immorally. ...
Homosexual activity is not a complementary union, able to transmit life; and so it thwarts the call to a life of that form of self-giving which the Gospel says is the essence of Christian living. This does not mean that homosexual persons are not often generous and giving of themselves; but when they engage in homosexual activity they confirm within themselves a disordered sexual inclination which is essentially self-indulgent.
10. It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church's pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.
But the proper reaction to crimes committed against homosexual persons should not be to claim that the homosexual condition is not disordered. When such a claim is made and when homosexual activity is consequently condoned, or when civil legislation is introduced to protect behavior to which no one has any conceivable right, neither the Church nor society at large should be surprised when other distorted notions and practices gain ground, and irrational and violent reactions increase.
11. It has been argued that the homosexual orientation in certain cases is not the result of deliberate choice; and so the homosexual person would then have no choice but to behave in a homosexual fashion. Lacking freedom, such a person, even if engaged in homosexual activity, would not be culpable.
Here, the Church's wise moral tradition is necessary since it warns against generalizations in judging individual cases. In fact, circumstances may exist, or may have existed in the past, which would reduce or remove the culpability of the individual in a given instance; or other circumstances may increase it. What is at all costs to be avoided is the unfounded and demeaning assumption that the sexual behavior of homosexual persons is always and totally compulsive and therefore inculpable. What is essential is that the fundamental liberty which characterizes the human person and gives him his dignity be recognized as belonging to the homosexual person as well. As in every conversion from evil, the abandonment of homosexual activity will require a profound collaboration of the individual with God's liberating grace.
12. ... Christians who are homosexual are called, as all of us are, to a chaste life. ...
15. We encourage the Bishops, then, to provide pastoral care in full accord with the teaching of the Church for homosexual persons of their dioceses. No authentic pastoral program will include organizations in which homosexual persons associate with each other without clearly stating that homosexual activity is immoral. A truly pastoral approach will appreciate the need for homosexual persons to avoid the near occasions of sin.
We would heartily encourage program where these dangers are avoided. But we wish to make it clear that departure from the Church's teaching, or silence about it, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither caring nor pastoral. Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral. The neglect of the Church's position prevents homosexual men and women from receiving the care they need and deserve.


USCCB, "Between Man and Woman," 2003
Marriage, as instituted by God, is a faithful, exclusive, lifelong union of a man and a woman joined in an intimate community of life and love. They commit themselves completely to each other and to the wondrous responsibility of bringing children into the world and caring for them.
Marriage is both a natural institution and a sacred union because it is rooted in the divine plan for creation. In addition, the Church teaches that the valid marriage of baptized Christians is a sacrament—a saving reality. Jesus Christ made marriage a symbol of his love for his Church (see Eph 5:25-33). This means that a sacramental marriage lets the world see, in human terms, something of the faithful, creative, abundant, and self-emptying love of Christ. A true marriage in the Lord with his grace will bring the spouses to holiness. Their love, manifested in fidelity, passion, fertility, generosity, sacrifice, forgiveness, and healing, makes known God's love in their family, communities, and society. This Christian meaning confirms and strengthens the human value of a marital union (see CCC, nos. 1612-1617; 1641-1642).

Ratzinger, CDF, 2003

"Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons," 3 June 2003
Those who would move from tolerance to the legitimization of specific rights for cohabiting homosexual persons need to be reminded that the approval or legalization of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil.
In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.
The scope of the civil law is certainly more limited than that of the moral law,(11) but civil law cannot contradict right reason without losing its binding force on conscience.(12) Every humanly-created law is legitimate insofar as it is consistent with the natural moral law, recognized by right reason, and insofar as it respects the inalienable rights of every person.(13) Laws in favor of homosexual unions are contrary to right reason because they confer legal guarantees, analogous to those granted to marriage, to unions between persons of the same sex. Given the values at stake in this question, the State could not grant legal standing to such unions without failing in its duty to promote and defend marriage as an institution essential to the common good.
In this area, one needs first to reflect on the difference between homosexual behavior as a private phenomenon and the same behavior as a relationship in society, foreseen and approved by the law, to the point where it becomes one of the institutions in the legal structure. This second phenomenon is not only more serious, but also assumes a more wide-reaching and profound influence, and would result in changes to the entire organization of society, contrary to the common good. Civil laws are structuring principles of man's life in society, for good or for ill. They “play a very important and sometimes decisive role in influencing patterns of thought and behavior”.[5] Lifestyles and the underlying presuppositions these express not only externally shape the life of society, but also tend to modify the younger generation's perception and evaluation of forms of behavior. Legal recognition of homosexual unions would obscure certain basic moral values and cause a devaluation of the institution of marriage.
As experience has shown, the absence of sexual complementarity in these unions creates obstacles in the normal development of children who would be placed in the care of such persons. They would be deprived of the experience of either fatherhood or motherhood. Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development. This is gravely immoral and in open contradiction to the principle, recognized also in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, that the best interests of the child, as the weaker and more vulnerable party, are to be the paramount consideration in every case.
Society owes its continued survival to the family, founded on marriage. The inevitable consequence of legal recognition of homosexual unions would be the redefinition of marriage, which would become, in its legal status, an institution devoid of essential reference to factors linked to heterosexuality; for example, procreation and raising children. If, from the legal standpoint, marriage between a man and a woman were to be considered just one possible form of marriage, the concept of marriage would undergo a radical transformation, with grave detriment to the common good. By putting homosexual unions on a legal plane analogous to that of marriage and the family, the State acts arbitrarily and in contradiction with its duties.
Nor can the principle of the proper autonomy of the individual be reasonably invoked. It is one thing to maintain that individual citizens may freely engage in those activities that interest them and that this falls within the common civil right to freedom; it is something quite different to hold that activities which do not represent a significant or positive contribution to the development of the human person in society can receive specific and categorical legal recognition by the State. Not even in a remote analogous sense do homosexual unions fulfill the purpose for which marriage and family deserve specific categorical recognition. On the contrary, there are good reasons for holding that such unions are harmful to the proper development of human society, especially if their impact on society were to increase.
If it is true that all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as politicians. Faced with legislative proposals in favor of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are to take account of the following ethical indications.
When legislation in favor of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic law-maker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral.
When legislation in favor of the recognition of homosexual unions is already in force, the Catholic politician must oppose it in the ways that are possible for him and make his opposition known; it is his duty to witness to the truth. If it is not possible to repeal such a law completely, the Catholic politician, recalling the indications contained in the Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, “could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality”, on condition that his “absolute personal opposition” to such laws was clear and well known and that the danger of scandal was avoided.(18) This does not mean that a more restrictive law in this area could be considered just or even acceptable; rather, it is a question of the legitimate and dutiful attempt to obtain at least the partial repeal of an unjust law when its total abrogation is not possible at the moment.

C. S. Lewis on homosexuality

"Interesting Letter from C.S. Lewis on Homosexuality."
Our speculations on the cause of the abnormality are not what matters and we must be content with ignorance. The disciples were not told why (in terms of efficient cause) the man was born blind (Jn. IX 1-3): only the final cause, that the works of God should be made manifest in him. This suggests that in homosexuality, as in every other tribulation, those works can be made manifest: i.e. that every disability conceals a vocation, if only we can find it, which will 'turn the necessity to glorious gain.'
Perhaps any homosexual who humbly accepts his cross and puts himself under Divine guidance will, however, be shown the way. I am sure that any attempt to evade it (e.g. by mock or quasi-marriage with a member of one's own sex even if this does not lead to any carnal act) is the wrong way.
All I have really said is that, like all other tribulations, it must be offered to God and His guidance how to use it must be sought.

Specious reasoning

There is a widespread and fundamental confusion in our culture. Many people argue that because God loves everyone, God loves gays, and therefore that God loves gay sex. It seems that some people have same-sex attraction by nature; if same-sex activity is natural for them, then it must be a natural law that their use of their sexual powers is just as natural as the use of sexual powers in heterosexual marriage.

The conclusion does not follow from the premises. God certainly loved Hitler, but God could never have loved Hitler's efforts to eradicate the Jews. God's love is not stupid. Because God is love, He stands against all of our actions against love. Many people seem to be born with deficient consciences. Hatred of other races, the desire to murder, to rape, to commit incest, to fornicate, to commit adultery may all seem perfectly natural to sociopaths and psychopaths, but we cannot condone their actions. We must preach that God loves all of His children without exception while not supposing that strong passions and impulses are necessarily loving acts.

Please note well that I am not saying that same-sex actions are the moral equivalent of genocide. The reason I invoke Hitler in this argument is that I think it is an easy case to see what is wrong with the argument. In the Catholic tradition, God does not predestine any of his children to Hell. Jesus died for all of us--for all sinners, not just for a few "good" sinners. Preaching the Good News that God loves us all must be accompanied by the call for us to repent of our sins that nailed Jesus to the Cross, not to suppose that there is no such thing as sin.

Relationships require the consent of both parties. God offers us a relationship with Him. It makes a huge difference to us whether we accept or reject that relationship. The assertion that "God's love for me will not ever change, regardless of what I do" does not mean "I can reject God and still have a good relationship with God." That is nonsense!


  1. Cf. Gen 19:1-29; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10.
  2. CDF, Persona humana 8.
  3. "Gay Myths."
  4. "Biology/twins eye color."
  5. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae (March 25, 1995), 90.