What the Church Teaches on Same Sex Marriage

"Marriage, whose nature and purposes are established by God, can only be the union of a man and a woman and must remain such in law."
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

The debate over same-sex marriage has been in the news nonstop, which means it's also on the minds of your students and catechists. And the controversy is not confined to courtrooms and homosexual couples - it has implications for society as a whole.

Questions are sure to come up. Any discussion of same-sex marriage requires great care, however, because of the potential for alienation and persecution. What the Church Teaches: Same-Sex Marriage helps you talk about this timely topic with respect and compassion. Our Sunday Visitor's timely pamphlet puts the controversy in scriptural context, answering the toughest questions with the Church's faith-based perspective. It goes beyond to issue a call for action, encouraging married couples and all Catholics to defend marriage and live as a loving example of divine law.

Some of your students and catechists may find same-sex marriage a particularly difficult issue. Many likely know and care for someone - a family member, friend, co-worker, neighbor - who lives a lifestyle contrary to Church teaching. Offer them sound yet sensitive guidance with What the Church Teaches: Same-Sex Marriage.

Related reading

Sexual authenticity
how to defend the faith

Rebuttals to arguments for same-sex marriage

Understanding definition of marriage

Editorial: Better understanding of Church's marriage teaching needed

U.K. Catholics mobilize against gay marriage

What Obama's support for same-sex marriage means for Catholics

Same-Sex Adoption

OSV Books

How to Defend the Faith without Raising Your Voice by Austen Ivereigh
Excerpt from the chapter on Homosexuality and Contraception

Sexual Authenticity: An Intimate Reflection on Homosexuality by Melinda Selmys

Excerpt from Beyond Gay by David Morrison

Catholic Sexual Ethics: A Summary, Explanation, & Defense by W. May, R. Lawler, & J. Boyle

Additional resources

Sexual Authenticity Blog by author Melinda Selmys
Catechism of the Catholic Church on Marriage
Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Sixth Commandment
Vatican: Familiaris Consortio (On the Family)
Vatican: Gaudium et Spes (On the Church in the Modern World)
Vatican: Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons
USCCB: Q and A about same-sex unions  

Additional OSV articles

Where are the voters?
Overlooked teaching
After the desert: A faithful Catholic's reflection on same-sex attraction
Fighting to prevent same-sex marriage
Editorial: Religious freedom collision course