HLI condemns the unjust and ironically-named “Anti-Discriminatory Ordinance for People of Diverse Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE)”, approved by the Mandaue City Council earlier this month. Whatever the intention of those who approved it, this ordinance utilizes language now routinely invoked to persecute Christians worldwide. We have seen several Christian-owned businesses fined into closure, business owners’ lives threatened, public figures forced to resign – all merely for their failure to keep silent and celebrate the redefinition of marriage and the LGBT lifestyle. The majority of these leaders were respectful, charitable, and fair in their statements and dealings, yet they have been forced out of public life as a climate of fear and intimidation seems to immediately follow the acceptance of “LGBT rights” by courts or legislative bodies.
It has been reported that the SOGIE ordinance was adopted without the usual public discussion. If true, this would be unfortunately typical for the anti-democratic LGBT movement that would see all who disagree sued and shamed into silence or worse. This unjust ordinance must be reversed immediately, as it transparently promises to revoke others’ freedom of speech in order to protect the feelings of the aggrieved.
As to the question of special “rights” for persons who identify as homosexual, this cannot be supported, since every person has equal dignity and thus equal rights. One person’s desire to not be offended must not eclipse another’s freedom of religion, conscience, and speech. All have the right to live their faith in the public square and to respectfully make proposals about morality or other areas that come from their faith, and to hire those who will support their missions. Such proposals, though often unfairly denounced as “hateful” and “bigoted” by those who disagree, are in no way unjust.
HLI’s position on special rights for persons who identify as “LGBT” is based on the Church’s official teaching from the Catechism:
2357 … Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.