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“Ask a Priest: Could I Join in My Daughter’s Same-Sex ‘Wedding’?”
Q: My 30-year-old daughter realized in high school that she is attracted to women sexually. She recently proposed to the woman she has been dating for the past 11 years and living with for the past seven. This woman is a wonderful person whose influence has made my daughter a better person. My daughter used to be very difficult, selfish, lazy, and had friends who stole and got her involved in witchcraft. The woman she is living with is a very kind and considerate person, has a strong work ethic, and a strong sense of right and wrong. She has made my daughter a better person with her values. I know my daughter truly loves this other woman, because I see her sacrificing her selfishness for the happiness of this other person. I love my Catholic faith. It provides me with so much peace and joy. My daughter would like my blessing for her marriage. My husband and I have been very welcoming to my daughter’s friend in our lives, as we believe in loving and accepting everyone. I am having a difficult time knowing what my position and participation in the wedding should be, to support my Catholic faith and beliefs. My daughter asked me if I would like part of the ceremony to be religious with a priest. I was confused by her question because in my mind that is not even possible. She told me about an Episcopal priest who could marry them. My daughter was raised Catholic. I would appreciate any advice on how I should handle her marriage as Jesus would want me to. Thank you. – D.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: It’s good at least that your daughter seems to have broken with the stealing and the witchcraft.
That is a start. Perhaps God has allowed this other person in your daughter’s life to help bring her out of the muck of the occult.
But while their relationship might be healthy at one level, it falters when it moves into the realm of sexual activity. God’s plan for sex is that it be unitive and procreative, and thus only between a husband and wife.
It seems as though you already recognize both the good and bad elements of this relationship. The key thing now is how to accentuate the positive without promoting the negative.
Your attendance and possible active participation in the “wedding” would signal that you are OK with the sexual part of their relationship – and that seems to be the last thing you as a practicing Catholic want to do.
Perhaps your welcoming of your daughter’s friend over the years was interpreted as tacit approval of their homosexual relationship. This might explain why your daughter was confident enough to ask you to participate in her “wedding.”
Should you decide to opt out of the ceremony, you might want to do is explain to them your reasons for not attending. You would want to do this in a loving and serene way. It might be better to approach your daughter first.
Don’t be surprised if there is pushback. Jesus did warn us: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household’” (Matthew 10:34-36).
In any case, try to keep the lines of communication open with your daughter. Pray that she discovers God’s beautiful plan for the right use of her sexuality.
Remind her of your love for her and your desire to see her with you in heaven someday. To that end, it would be good to intensify your prayers and sacrifices for her.
For your own benefit, you might consider joining an EnCourage group. If there isn’t one in your area, you might be able to connect through Zoom or Skype. Count on my prayers.
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