Vol 5, No 1, 2005

Catholicism and Same Sex Marriage

Matthew Ogilvie


The Catechism of the Catholic Church (2358) states that homosexual people "must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided." Notwithstanding the Church’s advocacy for the civil rights of all people, it holds it impossible to recognize same-sex marriage. The Catholic Church thus affirms its heritage and understanding of marriage while at the same time it supports the human rights of people in same-sex relationships. Such an approach places the Catholic position at an Aristotelian mean between the extremes of rank homophobia and uncritical homophilia. In this paper I would like to both explain the meaning of this doctrinal position and to contribute some of my own thoughts regarding the reasons and principles governing intimate human relationships and marriage.