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Wednesday, January 16 2013

Frequently Asked Questions


Catholics for Equality


1. What is Catholics for Equality?

Catholics for Equality (C4E) is a Catholic political organization supporting basic freedoms and full legal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Americans. American Catholics are among the strongest supporters of equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) people of any religious group in the U.S.


2. How “Catholic” is Catholics for Equality?

Catholics for Equality draws on the rich tradition of Catholic social justice teachings, grounded in the Gospel message of Love. Catholic social justice teaching orients the Catholic to see that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) people must be provided the following human freedoms and recognition:

  • Human Dignity and Human Development (“made in the image and likeness of God”)
  • Free Exercise of Conscience
  • Ability to find meaningful and gainful Employment
  • Opportunity to live in decent Housing
  • Be full members of their Families
  • Form their own Families
  • Solidarity of Human Culture and Social Life in their Communities
  • Freedom of Association
  • Full Political Participation and Voice
  • Freedom of Cultural Expression

Catholic teaching also has a sense of “option for the poor and the marginalized,” thus allowing Catholics to see LGBT people as often marginalized minority members of society— people that Jesus himself would have aligned himself with, been friends with, and defended.


3. What are the goals of Catholics for Equality?

Catholics for Equality seeks the full social, cultural, and political recognition of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people in American society.

Political Goal: Catholics for Equality will identify, support, and mobilize the voices of pro-equality Catholics to take effective political action.

Legislative Goal: Catholics for Equality will identify, promote, and amplify Catholic voices in public debates on legislative issues regarding the freedom of LGBT people to enjoy the same quality of life of all Americans in employment, housing, family life (marriage and adoption), service to one’s country (military, foreign service, Peace Corps, etc), immigration rights, and safety.

Cultural Goal: Catholics for Equality works to educate American Catholics that supporting full freedom and equality for LGBT people is consistent with the best of Catholic social justice teaching and American values.


4. How do Catholic Latinos fit into Catholics for Equality?

Latinos make up more than 35% of all American Catholics, thus making up the largest ethnic group in the U.S. Catholic Church. Latino Catholics are very diverse but they share common core values and practices related to the family, sacraments, and devotions to Mary. Recent polling in California shows that Latino Catholics are the single most favorable religious segment (57%) favoring full freedom of LGBT people to create families through civil marriage. This favorable trend may seem counter-intuitive to some, but it makes sense when understanding that Latino cultures:

  1. are very strong toward family inclusion even in the face of rising single-parent households;
  2. orient their moral values toward actual life experiences (versus ideological or theological dictates), and
  3. trust the voices of their own family members over and against the dictates of the church’s hierarchy when understanding sexual orientation and gender identity.


5. Is this a gay organization?

No. Catholics for Equality is an inclusive organization of Catholics in support of full freedom and equality for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered family members, friends, co-workers, and fellow citizens.


6. Why a Catholic political organization for LGBT freedom and rights?

LGBT freedom and rights can only be guaranteed through sound local, state, and federal laws. While we believe there needs to be social and cultural change for full acceptance of LGBT people in society, such acceptance must be guaranteed through laws reflecting the values of socio-cultural change moving toward the best of our American ideals.


7. Who can join?

We welcome all people who identify as Catholics into Catholics for Equality. We especially welcome Catholics who have felt marginalized or even hurt by the Church and may see themselves as ex-Catholics, recovering Catholics, cultural Catholics, etc.


8. What is the best way I can be supportive?

You can be very supportive by:

  • Signing up as a member of Catholics for Equality.
  • Respond to Catholics for Equality Action Alerts.
  • Talk to your friends, family members, and co-workers about being Catholic and for LGBT freedoms and rights.
  • Write or call your elected officials to support legislation in support of LGBT freedoms and rights.
  • Sign up and participate in a local Parish Brunch group.
  • Report incidents, negative homilies, and political appeals at your parish or diocese that seek to limit freedoms and rights for LGBT people.
  • Contribute financially to Catholics for Equality or the Catholics for Equality Foundation.
  • Be positive! Pray for an inclusive and accepting Church and American society for all!


9. What’s the relationship between Catholics for Equality and the Church’s hierarchy?

Catholics for Equality is a mainstream Catholic organization representing the opinion and attitudes of the very best of Catholic social justice values. We believe that the U.S. bishops are following the dictates of the current Vatican leadership and not the long term values of American Catholicism with its history of fairness and inclusion of all people. Our efforts to ensure full freedom and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexuals, and transgendered women and men reflects the very attitude of the U.S. Catholic bishops when they wrote in 1997 to parents of LGBT children:

“Our message speaks of accepting yourself, your beliefs and values, your questions, and all you may be struggling with at this moment; accepting and loving your child as a gift of God; and accepting the full truth of God's revelation about the dignity of the human person and the meaning of human sexuality. Within the Catholic moral vision there is no contradiction among these levels of acceptance, for truth and love are not opposed. They are inseparably joined and rooted in one person, Jesus Christ, who reveals God to be ultimate truth and saving love.”

This is what Catholics for Equality believes and fights for.

Catholics for Equality © 2010 • Catholics for Equality Foundation © 2010
PO Box 34765 • Washington, DC • 20043-4765 • tele: 202.657.6097