Monday, May 1

My Best Friend's Big Gay Wedding

My best friend Michael is having a commitment ceremony with his boyfriend of 5+ years on May 21st. I've blogged about Michael before. His wedding, like every "traditional" wedding I've ever experienced, is starting to have drama.

He has two attendants, me and T. T does not like me at all. She told Michael that she was throwing the Bachelor Party, and she did. Of course, she did no planning, invited only her friends and none of his, and left in the middle of it with her clique of lesbians, but that's another story. (And yes, I've already been to confession about it.)

She's also decided that she's standing next to him at the wedding. He told her I was his Honor Attendant (the politically correct term for Best (wo)Man), and she cried and said that if she didn't get to stand next to him and hold the ring that she wasn't coming to the wedding. He relented, and now she's pretty much decided to take all the "Best (wo)Man" things for herself, even though that's not her part in the wedding.

I'm really frustrated about the whole situation, as you might imagine. Michael is my best friend and has been for 14 years, and I am his best friend, and we always have each other's back. But this woman insisted on being in the wedding party, essentially forced herself to be Best (wo)Man, took all of the things I was going to do for him for herself and then talked trash about me to him after the party was over. She says she left because I made a comment she didn't approve of, but she was only half-listening and didn't hear the whole comment in the context of the joke. And if I said something that offended her, she should have said something to me instead of ditching the guest of honor at his own party.

If I'm this stressed, I can only imagine how upset Michael is about this whole thing.

We all have flakes at our wedding. She is his flake. I told him that in lieu of a bachelor party, since I won't be throwing that, I'll take him out for a day of pampering on the Friday before his wedding - a nice lunch and a mani/pedi kind of thing. Plus I'll throw in some Mimosas and we'll be good to go.

I have so much going on this month, between my company picnic next weekend and two weddings this month (we had three, but we got uninvited to one, so now we're down to two) that I'm just going to be exhausted by the end of the month. Thank goodness for that three-day weekend at the end of May.


At 4:26 PM, Blogger Sister Mary Hasta said...

In my ever so humble opinion, let the baby have what she wants, you and Michael know how important your friendship is and it's not worth stressing over.

At 11:31 PM, Blogger monogodo said...

Think of it in terms of what happened at our wedding, with regards to my mothers. It didn't really matter where Kathy sat, or where Rita sat. The fact that they were there was what was important.

At 11:08 AM, Anonymous "omis" said...

Ditto Sister Mary's comment.

And be sure to tell him how important he is to you, sometime over mani/pedi's*, so he knows it doesn't matter if you stand at the rear, as long as you're there for your friend.

*Years ago my friend actually took me for a mani/pedi in Dallas. It was somewhere down in Oak Lawn (is that right?), and it was great because they gave you champagne while you had your toes worked on.

At 12:01 PM, Blogger JoAnnC. said...

Not sure why you, as a faithful Catholic, are attending, much less standing up for this union. I know this person has been your best friend for many, many years, but that does not justify you participating in this "ceremony."
By attending this event, you are saying that you agree with this union. As a Catholic christian, I believe it is a grave sin for you to be part of this.
I know you love your friend, but as a Catholic you cannot support this union.

At 12:21 PM, Blogger Cynthia said...

Michael is my best friend, and he knows that I am Catholic and that I believe all Catholic teachings. He knows quite a bit about Catholicism. His boyfriend is Catholic as is his boyfriend's entire family. While his boyfriend now goes to a non-denominational church (as does Michael), his boyfriend prays the Sacred Heart devotion and wears a Sacred Heart medal, and has rosaries that he prays with even now. For one of my attendant's gifts, he's making me a gorgious Miraculous Medal rosary. He also has a special devotion to St. Michael.

It's been a struggle for me trying to figure out how best to support Michael, but I know that being there with him and supporting him in love will be better for him then me condemning him and judging him. I do not have it in my heart to do that.

I know it's a sin to show my support by standing up with him, just like I knew it was a sin to go out to gay clubs with him. I prayed long and hard for forgiveness both before and after I went out this weekend. I've already been to confession about this weekend, and I know I will be in confession often during this process for guidance and forgiveness. And I pray for Michael constantly and for the strength to be his friend without alienating him by judging him.

For our entire friendship up until the past six months, I never saw homosexuality as being any kind of a choice. A person can't help who they fall in love with. But I also now know that the Catholic teachings on the subject are strong and there is no leniency.

I met two gay Catholics this weekend. Both admitted to loving the Catholic church, and one was even wearing a Crucifix. They both love the sacraments and love Christ. Neither goes to church now though - they do not feel welcome. Their families have struggled with their homosexuality for some time.

I feel that I will be able to teach him more about Christ by setting a good example and for telling him gradually about the Catholic church, in his own time.

At 12:47 PM, Blogger ELC said...

As a Catholic approving of this travesty of a "wedding", you will be teaching your friend, and everybody else involved with it, that either (1) the teachings of the Catholic Church mean nothing to you or (2) that you think the Church is wrong about homosexuality. That's the message you will give, to him and to everybody involved, no matter what else you have to say about it. It might also convey the message, especially to those who don't know you, that you are a hypocrite, saying one thing and doing another. In what way would this be "setting a good example"?

As to "judging" him, well nobody is expecting you to judge him. What you are expected to do as a Catholic is to judge his actions as being wrong, which they are, and (more importantly) to not cooperate with him, nor to support him, in doing wrong. But that is precisely what you would be doing.

Moreover, you are already "judging" him, and the judgement you are making is that, no matter what he does, it's okay because he is your friend. Would you do the same if he were a child molestor? (They don't choose to be pedophiles, you know.)

Besides, "falling in love" is certainly a choice one can make; more importantly, one can choose to act, or refrain from acting, on such feelings. And falling in and/or out of love is used to justify betrayal and divorce and abandonment, too. It all depends on whom one is in love with at the time.

I don't know why I'm telling you this: you know he's doing wrong and that it's wrong for you to support him in sinning. I think the strength you really need to pray for is the strength to stop doing that. God bless you.

At 1:04 PM, Blogger glorybe said...

I have to agree with elc and joan. You may think that I am terrible, but truly, I am a person who would not want to hurt another person's feelings, especially a close friend or family member. I have struggled with this situation in that my brother-in-law is openly gay and "married" a few years ago. We do not support his choice of lifestyle or his marriage. We did not attend, nor do we attend family functions where he and his partner are present. It has caused some really bad blood within the family, and lots and lots of hurt on both sides. Still, he does understand us better than any of the other family members (really ironic) and does not hold our choice against us. I thought that was really awesome. He understands that we have choices too.
Because I have really been hurting and wondering over the years about what causes gay tendencies, I have tried to research it as much as possible. I have read books, articles and much on the internet from all sides. I have come to the conclusion that it seems to be more of a psychological disorder than a choice or something genetic. Some very reliable studies have shown patterns in childhood experiences in people with this disorder, just like any other psychological disorder.
I would be happy to talk about this more by e-mail if you like.
Pray about it, most of all. That has helped me more than anything.

At 5:13 PM, Blogger monogodo said...

I see nothing wrong with Cynthia supporting her friend Michael in the way that she chooses. Her friendship with him does not equate to approval of his actions.

I have many friends who do things that I disagree with. I'm friends with them because of who they are, not what they do. One of my best friends is both Catholic and homosexual.

The comments from the previous commenters are just one of the reasons why I currently have no desire to join the Catholic church. Avoiding contact with people who are gay, simply because they are gay does not seem like a very Christ-like action. Cynthia's choice to support her friend, on the other hand, does seem to me to be very Christ-like. Aren't we all supposed to aspire to be like Christ?

At 8:37 PM, Blogger Petra said...

The issue here is not whether Cynthia should have contact with her gay friend or not. I think most people here will agree that no-one is calling her to abandon her friend just because she became Catholic. But of course, elc is also right in saying that participating (and having an instrumental par!) in a gay "wedding" may be seen as hypocrisy and is certainly not the best way of showing that you both love your friend, but do not agree with what he does.

Still, I think that, because all this is relatively short-term now, this should be between Cynthia and her spiritual director. I realize that she is struggling very much with this - after all, she made this commitment when she was still not quite sure about the issue! And she is also a very recent convert, and I remember myself that I also struggled with parts of Catholic teaching long after my conversion. (And I used to be a "fag hag", too! ;-) Fortunately, my own gay friend does not have a boyfriend and never had one.)

I think, as far as contact with gay men with partners is concerned (though it is always a bit tricky), that if the sinfulness of the lives of people around us determined who to be in contact with, then I couldn't be in contact with most of my colleagues and some of my friends, because they (heterosexually) fornicate with their boyfriends/girlfriends... (This would also include my parents by the way, who only had a civil marriage.)

So, in this case, I think, monogodo's warning is appropriate: not having personal, friendly contact with people because they are leading sinful lives without being aware of it (as they don't know Christ), would amount to mere pharisaism and would be condemned by Christ...

At 9:10 PM, Anonymous Rafael said...

I understand that he did not choose his orientation however, Catholic teaching is clear that same sex acts are evil. He needs to live a holy celibate life for Christ. People with Same Sex Attraction have a heavy cross to bear. I hope you investigate the church's teachings and resources for SSA disorder.

At 12:38 AM, Blogger monogodo said...

As it's not my place to give personal information about anyone, I won't.

All I'll say is that most everyone here seems to be making the assumption that homosexual sex acts are occurring. Would the situation change if there weren't any? If they were committed to each other in love, but not with sex? Is there anything wrong with her supporting them in a committed loving relationship in which they both are celibate?

After my last comment, I did some minor research and a question arose. This might not be the proper forum for it, but here goes:

One point I read from a few sources about the Catholic Church's position on homosexuality was that it's wrong because homosexual sex can not lead to the miracle of life. Would the Catholic Church then thing it is also wrong for a sterile person to enter into marriage? If a person is unable to reproduce, any sex they have will not lead to the miracle of life. Would it then be wrong?

At 12:44 AM, Blogger Vajra said...

"Neither will I condemn thee."

Michael is your friend. Being present at this ceremony is an act of love on your part. Don't let the fundy dumbdies get you down.

At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not going to comment on the wedding, but on T. She sounds extremely manipulative, alternating between passive-aggression (poor me, you hurt my feelings) and outright aggression. This may be hard to do, but when she starts pushing, stand your ground, confront her, and do not give an inch. Do not be surprised if she tries to take over your mani/pedi plans with Michael. Be ready to say "NO, BUTT OUT." Believe me, Michael will probably appreciate having someone stand up to her.

At 12:11 PM, Blogger glorybe said...

I think I need to clarify a few things.

First, when I love someone, I can't bear to see them hurt, in body or soul.

My brother-in-law is proud to be a practicing homosexual. He doesn't want advice on how to change his situation. He doesn't want to hear that his body or his soul may be in danger.

I have never been confrontational with him, or talked to him with anger. He knows that I am not homophobic or have any ill-will towards him.

But, he doesn't want to see my sad, teary, mopey face around and hear any advice. Period.

So that everyone in the family can have a nice Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc., it is better that I not be there.

My view of love isn't for everyone. Some people believe that love is accepting, never disagreeing, and supporting a friend or relative even when they make choices that could hurt them very badly. I used to think that too. But at some point I realized that I really appreciated those friends who were willing to risk losing their friendship with me to go out on a limb and tell me when I was doing something wrong. I could see that they were not being mean or hateful, but truly loving and kind.

I don't think that telling someone the truth is judging them. If you are really worried about their soul, what other choice is there if you truly love them? Of course, the advice should always be without malice, and done in a very kind loving way.

Judging is when you condemn someone for what they do. You assume things about them before asking questions and finding out the reasons why they do what they do. And there is no charity in the heart for that person. I don't agree with that, nor do I understand it.

I pray for my brother-in-law every night. He knows what is in my heart.

At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Celticherokee said...

Wow, what an interesting convo going on here. Let me add my few cents for the sake of it...
I'll start with reasons for marriage. The fact that homosexual marriage cannot lead to having offspring is only ONE reason the Church condemns it. Besided, 'sterile' couples have been known to see miracles.
Now, on to the ceremony. Being 'gay' is not a sin. Having sex outside of marriage is. SO, if this couple were leading celebacy, than no, it's not a sin and Cynthia has nothing to stand against. However, let's be realistic. Would this couple be having a huge ceremony to introduce their life of celebacy to the world? Probably not.
As choosing whom we fall in love with: we don't choose the people who stir feelings in us, or even grab our heart, but we do choose how we act. Even married people may get 'stirred' by people outside the marriage, and if not careful, could fall in love with someone else. Acting on that is a sin. Let's give people the benefit of self control.
As far as I'm concerned, if you live in a large city and don't have a gay friend, you're probably not getting out enough. I've already buried a dear friend because his lifestyle led to AIDS, but I digress... I think he knew what I thought about his choices, and knowing that I am a devout Catholic (he was raised Catholic) he must have known where I stood. We can be examples to our homosexual friends in two ways: 1.Continue to love HIM! I hugged my friend whenever I saw him. I laughed with him, spent time with him when I could... treated him like the dear friend he was. 2. Let him know (charitably) that his choices were not in agreement with your beliefs.
In your case, Cynthia, we're not just talking about 'attending' the wedding, but standing up for and supporting the very union itself. The main attendant stands and says "I support this union", (not just the people.. but the union)
That is in direct violation of Church law. One cannot enter into this planning to go to confession. A worthy confession includes being truly sorry for having committing the act, and then, if faced with the same decision again, WOULD NOT DO IT AGAIN.
Michael must understand if he knows the Church at all. You are pushing yourself to be the best friend you can be. That's admirable, but maybe this is his chance to be your best friend. Perhaps this is the opportunity he needs to show you how much he loves you be supporting you in your committment.
There is no reason why Cynthia has to end this friendship or stop loving Michael. Cynthia, you know in your heart that you can love him and be honest with him. I know you're struggling with what honest is right now. You have not been spriritually convicted of the sin here, although with your desire for confession, I see you are struggling with it. Give Michael a chance to support you and love you in your new found love affair with Christ. Show him how you can love with Christ's love and still not support this choice. Do not judge him or condemn him. That is not your place or ours. Perhaps the biggest struggle here is not sharing in the Church's beliefs on this issue. I'll liken that to a teenager still living at home: how often does a teen not agree with the rules of the parents? but an obedient and faithful child obeys anyway. She tells her friends that her parents "won't let her ....whatever". Just like an obedient and faithful Catholic follows the teachings of the Church even when she doesn't agree with her whole heart.

Hasn't everyone been faced with a similar issue? Friends do things we don't support, so we back up and say, "Hey, I love you, but I'm not going along with this." either because we choose to not do it, or because we are not permitted. It happens all the time, and true friends don't let go of eachother when it does. We don't dump our friends because of their choices, be we are not obligated to participate with them either.
BTW Cynthia, if it means anything to you, I know what Fr. C would say; he'd tell you to not stand up for Michael at this ceremony. I can promise you that.

Sorry to be so long winded. Hope I didn't step on anyone's toes. I am doing my very best to be Christ to all who read this. I truly love the truth, and I love those seeking it.

blessings and peace to all--

Oh my gosh; I just noticed you wrote that you were UNinvited to a wedding!??

At 10:05 AM, Blogger ELC said...

Re: vajra. Quoting a wee bit of a verse out of context is not helpful. In this case, it is misleading. For the verse, John 8:11, continues, "Go, and now sin no more." Surely, you did not mean to imply that the Lord approved of sin nor that He was teaching that we should approve of sin.

At 11:46 AM, Blogger Vajra said...

Why do you assume that the partners will "sin"? Besides, the verse is so well known that it need not be quoted completely. The woman's sin is not the point of the story, but the hypocrisy of the Pharisees who would condemn her.

At 8:50 AM, Anonymous celticcherokee said...

When people get 'married', it is pretty safe to assume that they will have sexual relations.
In a homosexual relationship, THAT is a sin.
Apparently you do not agree with the Catholic stand on this. I do not intend to try to convince you, but let's not pick on people defending their convictions.
We [Catholics] also have a responsibility to admonish the sinner. We are instructed to do so. This is not judging, it is merely passing on the teachings of the Church to others, calling their attention to their own actions so that they can choose freely knowing the consequences.
Hey Cynthia, sorry if we're taking up too much space and time from your own messages, but don't worry about the contraversy for our sake. I think it's probably been good for some.
Ya'll take care!!

At 1:03 PM, Blogger ELC said...

Re: vajra.

1. Because I am neither stupid nor naive. (See also celticcherokee's comment.) Besides, if we were getting this wrong, I feel rather sure that Cynthia would have corrected our misimpression about the nature of her friends' relationship.

2. Baloney: it is not so well-known. It is especially not so well known that Jesus admonished the woman to refrain from sinning. In fact, that part is often ignored. To wit, your own example.

3. The story has more than one point, as stories often do. And Jesus said what He said no matter what you think "the" point of the story is.

I'm outta here.

At 11:10 PM, Blogger Vajra said...

1. No foundation.
2. OK: Well known to anyone with at least an average IQ.
3. Let he without sin cast the first stone.


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