Speak When You Must

In my Marriage and Family Counseling Class, we were examining various types of families — the nuclear, blended, single parent … gay/lesbian couples. The discussion continued until at one point, the gay/lesbian couple style of family almost came to be accepted as a “normal” mode of existence. I was sitting there, waiting for my turn to speak of course.
Just then our professor asked this question: As a counselor what would you do if a gay couple came to you for counseling? After having listened to what was going on, I could not but open my mouth and speak. I understand that this is a current phenomena, but that does not mean it is a normal. Each of us come from a different background and might have different take on it. As for me, coming from a traditional and spiritual background, I cannot counsel a gay couple. First of all, my own prejudice would prevent me, and also perhaps I might not do justice to the profession. Therefore, the best thing for me would be to refer them to another counselor. The professor thought my answer was a professional one, but then the argument continued on the importance of developing an open mind and a challenge.
Then began a volume of exchange regarding the respect to the human person. One person asked, if a pre-teen who continues to have pre-marital sex came to you, what would you do? The question was not directed to me. Then during the break we went over this and I told my professor my take. If something is sinful, it is sinful, and I would welcome any person. But as a priest I am obligated to correct them, whether it is a question of pre-marital sex or homosexuality. Just then my friend quipped, what we are looking at is not disregard for the human person, but disregard of the behavior. He is right: we are called to respect every fellow human being, but that does not mean we have to accept their behavior. Slowly we could see the whole class looking at it from their own natural and religious perspective.
If you don’t speak out, that is tantamount to your acceptance of it. Unfortunately, that’s how silence is interpreted these days!

Reflections