By way of background, I am a Catholic California mom of four, and my daughter is gay. I have gently counseled her on the Church's teachings on being gay: that if she is attracted to the same sex, she is respected and loved; but she should not sin by having sex outside of marriage.These are all good points that you raised. Don't forget though that homosexual activity is wrong, no matter what context it is in. In other words, it's not just that it's outside of marriage that makes it wrong. It's also the fact that it is sexual activity with someone of the same sex, which is contrary to God's design.
Her response is that God made her the way she is, and wants her to be happy. She is in a relationship with a young woman. I welcome them in my home. Does that make me a hypocrite?Well, for one, there is no proof that homosexuality is a genetic disorder, or that God "makes" people that way. There have been several professional studies which show that this is actually not the case. Secondly, it is true that God wants her to be happy, but happiness can only come by living according to God's Will. The sources for discerning God's Will -- the Bible and the teaching of the Catholic Church -- all say that homosexual activity is not condoned by God.
As for welcoming your daughter and her girlfriend into your home, I don't think this necessarily makes you a hypocrite. It depends on how you handle it. If you come down too heavy-handed and forbid them to come over or to ever be in your presence, then they will probably just rebel and end up living together by the end of the year. But, you also don't want to ever appear to condone their lifestyle. So, I think you have to walk a thin line.
I would just lay some ground rules. Both feet on the floor at all times. Open door at all times. No kissing, holding hands, or any other public displays of affection. No crude talk. It's your roof so you call the shots. I don't think those rules are too much to ask either. Once they can be in your home in a controlled atmosphere, then you can begin the slow and grueling process of being a good witness to them and planting the seeds that will hopefully bring about their conversion.
Basically, you have to be like Jesus (no pressure! haha). Hate the sin, but love the sinner. Calmly and charitably explain your position whenever it comes up. Invite them to good Catholic events, like Bible studies, women's groups, conferences, and things like that where they can be evangelized. Place different books around the house on true feminism, homosexuality, and JPII's theology of the body. Pray like there's no tomorrow!! You can save your daughter -- but only with God's help.
In California, we just had Proposition 8 on the ballot - defining marriage as between one man and one woman. I voted for it. She is very upset, saying I voted for something that has nothing to do with my faith - and that I have voted for civil discrimination. She says there is no connection between what the state says and what the Church says, and has asked me to stand up and "fight" for her right to marry her girlfriend!Prop 8 was an amazing victory for our society, and I applaud your courage in voting for it despite how close you are to the issue. In response to your daughter, I would first say that voting has everything to do with your faith. Our faith is not supposed to be something that we just bring to Church with us on Sunday. Our faith is supposed to inform everything that we say and do. God has revealed to us what is beautiful, good, and true -- and what is not. We are called to choose what is good and to avoid evil.
The idea that faith should be separate from politics is also false because, whether you like it or not, laws are based on moral principles. When you make a law that says that one action is right and another one is wrong, you make a moral judgment of that action. Our laws against stealing are based on the moral judgment that stealing is wrong. Our laws against rape and incest are based on the moral judgment that rape and incest is wrong. You get the idea. To separate law from morality is to create a false dichotomy.
I also disagree with your daughter when she says that Prop 8 amounts to "civil discrimination." This accusation rests on the presupposition that two people of the same sex have the "right" to get married. But, homosexual marriage isn't a right. Human rights are based on the dignity of the human person and what we should and should not afford a human being in light of that dignity. BUT, homosexual relationships are against our dignity as human persons. We were not made for such relations.
There is a complementarity between male and female (in temperament, psychological development, natural ability, physical makeup, etc.) that make them natural partners. When God saw that Adam needed a help mate, God made a woman, not another man. The complementarity of the sexes, the natural law that is imprinted onto our very bodies, is denied in homosexual relationships. The purposes of sexual intercourse -- unity and procreation -- are denied as well. For these and many more reasons, homosexual activity is contrary to the Will of God.
Now, in virtue of the free will that we all possess, I guess you could say that we all have the "right" to choose evil over good. God has given your daughter the free will to choose homosexual activity, if she so desires. But, homosexual marriage is not her "right" in the sense of something that she deserves in light of her human dignity, or something that society should legitimize.
Is there separation of Church and state on this issue as she claims? How can I respond without alienating her? I feel as thought I have to choose between my God and my child.On the contrary, by choosing God you choose your child. You only want what is best for her, and, whether she knows it or not, it would not be good for her for society to legitimize her homosexual inclination. This inclination shouldn't be encouraged, by society or anyone else. Instead, it is something that must be -- and can be -- overcome, with God's help.
There are several books on homosexuality, theology of the body, and true feminism that may be helpful to you. Here are a few that I would recommend:
- The Battle for Normality: A Guide for Self-Therapy for Homosexuality, by G.J.M. van den Aardweg
- The Truth about Homosexuality, by Fr. John F. Harvey, O.S.F.S.
- Homosexuality and the Catholic Church, by Fr. John F. Harvey, O.S.F.S.
- Theology of the Body for Beginners, by Christopher West
- Theology of the Body for Teens, by Brian Butler, Jason and Crystalina Evert
- Men and Women Are from Eden: A Study Guide to John Paul II's Theology of the Body, by Mary Healy
- The Authentic Catholic Woman, by Genevieve Kineke
- The Privilege of Being a Woman, by Alice von Hildebrand
- Every Woman's Journey: Answering "Who Am I" for the Feminine Heart, by Katrina Zeno
I hope this helps. Good luck to you!
Also see Part 2.