The Rainbow Pin and Catholic Straight Allies

The standard argument from within the institutional Church against the wearing of a Rainbow Sash in church, and in favour of withholding communion from those who wear it, is that it is wrong to turn the Eucharist into a political statement, and also that although the church agrees there is nothing wrong with being homosexual, it is wrong to identify as homosexual. There are obvious objections to both parts of this.  Frequently, it is not wearing the Sash that creates the political statement of the Eucharist, but its withholding (for example, from politicians who have taken decisions in conflict with orthodox doctrine, even where those decisions may have been taken in good conscience; or in the recent case in Minnesota, where it was the bishops who first introduced religion into the specifics of a political debate on gay marriage).   Identifying as having a same sex attraction does not necessarily imply that the person doing so is sexually active, and expecting people to keep their orientation secret is expecting them to live dishonestly, in conflict with the truth about their lives. Dishonesty is not a Catholic virtue.

Tactically, the rainbow pin campaign promoted by Equally Blessed may just have the potential to defuse  both arguments. As a discreet and unobtrusive pin, it lends itself to more permanent wearing than the Sash, and it is more difficult to accuse the wearer of doing so to politicize the Eucharist – it is simply a constant and general statement of support. If the campaign is successful in getting support from straight allies – parents, friends, or others- it will also remove the allegation that wearers are declaring their own orientation,  as is neatly illustrated by a story of a Tennessee Catholic grandmother published in Gay Rights:

The Catholic Grandmother With a Powerful Message

for Her Church on Gay Rights

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