Respect Life! Suicide among LGBTQ+ teens is 3 times higher than their peers. Micro-aggressions, which on campus can mean the use of derogatory, homophobic words whether directed towards individuals or not, create a atmosphere of hostility. This can contribute to a sense of isolation, alienation, self-loathing, and despair.
We invite members of the Marquette community to be not only mindful of the words chosen during conversations with friends, but to pray and reflect on how each of us are living as our best selves, being persons for others who welcome our brothers and sisters who identify as LGBTQ+, and actively forging a campus environment that is welcoming. Welcoming is a life or death issue.
The US Catholic Bishops remind us:
“Respect for the God-given dignity of all persons means the recognition of human rights and responsibilities. The teachings of the Church make it clear that the fundamental human rights of homosexual persons must be defended and that all of us must strive to eliminate any forms of injustice, oppression, or violence against them (cf. The Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, 1986, no. 10).
It is not sufficient only to avoid unjust discrimination. Homosexual persons "must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2358). They, as is true of every human being, need to be nourished at many different levels simultaneously. This includes friendship, which is a way of loving and is essential to healthy human development. It is one of the richest possible human experiences. Friendship can and does thrive outside of genital sexual involvement.
The Christian community should offer its homosexual sisters and brothers understanding and pastoral care. More than twenty years ago we bishops stated that "Homosexuals . . . should have an active role in the Christian community" (National Conference of Catholic Bishops, To Live in Christ Jesus: A Pastoral Reflection on the Moral Life, 1976, p. 19). What does this mean in practice? It means that all homosexual persons have a right to be welcomed into the community, to hear the word of God, and to receive pastoral care.”
U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Marriage & Family, Always Our Children: A Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children and Suggestions for Pastoral Ministers, 1997.