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This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.
Dear Dr. J:
My brother just announced he would be getting married to his boyfriend. They have been together for approximately ten years. My parents and brothers
raised their glasses to his plans and seem to be congratulating them. As a Roman Catholic with my principles of natural family and natural marriage,
how should I react about him getting married and what should I do when he invites me to his wedding?
Should you go to the wedding? In a word, no, you should not. They may ask you, "Would you go to the wedding of a divorced person who was remarrying?" The correct answer is, "No, I would not. They are entering publicly into an adulterous union. I would not go." If they reply, "But you went to Uncle Harry's second wedding and didn't say a word," the proper answer is, "I was wrong to do that. I should not have gone."
The longer-term question is: how do you maintain good relationships with these people and other family members who are going along with their plans to marry? This is the larger challenge.
Take every opportunity to show them love and compassion. Include your brother and his friend in activities whenever you can do so in good conscience. For instance, you can have them over for dinner, or go out to a show with them. These are not intrinsically "coupled" activities. You should invite them whenever you can. If they say no, that is ok. You have done your part. You can send them each birthday cards or Christmas cards.
If they want to argue with you about why you didn't go to the wedding, I suggest you decline to participate. Ditto if they want to argue about related topics, like the Church’s teaching on sexuality, unless you have reason to think they are sincerely interested in what you have to say. If they just want to argue, your answer is a polite, "No thanks."
Keep praying for them. Your time with the Lord will gradually reveal other specific ways in which you can show love to your brother. Eventually, the
Lord may show you an opportunity to explain the Church’s teaching in its fullness. Or maybe the Lord will place someone else in your brother’s
life who can share it with him.
Thank you for your question.