The Catholic Church and the LGBTQ+ community don’t exactly have the best “relationship.” Even if the pope we have today is by far the most tolerant, Pope Francis recently told the Associated Press that homosexuality isn’t a crime — but is still an act of sin, according to him. In most cases, it’s easy to boycott a business when they don’t support the LGBTQ+ community, but members of the group who are Catholic often find themselves having to choose between sexuality and God.

LGBTQ+ vs. The Catholic Church

Catholicism has always been one of the major religions in the country. It’s estimated that about 22% of Americans identify as Roman Catholics; the predominant religion in the US is Protestantism. This religion also cannot guarantee that the LGBTQ+ will have equal rights as both theological ideologies still adhere to the teachings of the same book — the Bible.

Pope Francis seems to be the most tolerant Pope when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community. In the Francesco documentary, he stated that “homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it.”

The Pope also clarified his initial statement with the Associated Press — he rephrased the topic of homosexuality being a sin. Pope Francis stated, “As you can see, I was repeating something in general. I should have said: ‘It is a sin, as is any sexual act outside of marriage.’ This is to speak of ‘the matter’ of sin, but we know well that Catholic morality not only takes into consideration the matter, but also evaluates freedom and intention; and this, for every kind of sin.”

Therefore, even if a person openly supports LGBTQ+ marriage and equality, their stance still cannot be validated unless their leader or community gives their church the “go signal” to support LGBTQ+ rights — and that’s the primary reason why many of them are forced to choose between sexuality and God — LGBTQ+ or not.

US States and Same-Sex Marriage

Theoretically, even if the Catholic Church provides the LGBTQ+ their right to be “themselves,” this still doesn’t solve the problem — the country (as a whole) should also hand them their equal rights on a nationwide scale. Thankfully, some states already allow the community to be given those — but the degree of LGBTQ+ rights given to them still varies per state.

Last 2015, in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court declared that all 50 states legalize same-sex marriage — but this can still be overturned.

All Things Considered…

We may have come a long way from prejudice, discrimination, and homophobia, but we’re still far from giving the LGBTQ+ their inherent equal rights. It may almost be impossible to overrule what the Catholic Church and the Bible ingrained into its followers when it comes to same-sex marriage, but having their LGBTQ+ members choose between sexuality and religion may almost be impossible for them to do as well.

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