Frequently Asked Questions
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:
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:
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:
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:
This is what Catholics for Equality believes and fights for.