Charlie and Al

No verse on this one (I admit, I tried, but they all sounded stupid), but this story is both beautiful and terrible. Beautiful, in that two people who love each other, who have been committed to one another for some 20 years, are today married. Terrible, in that they had to travel to another state to wed, and in that the very announcement that they planned to do so resulted in a lost job.

Oh, yeah, they are two men. And one taught in a Catholic school.

They’ve been together 20 years. An awful lot of marriages can’t make that claim. And they were openly gay, openly a couple. Their church knew. Their employers knew.

But when the Catholic hierarchy found out, an announcement of marriage was viewed as a “public stand against the tenets of the church”. Same sex marriage is unforgivable. Unlike, say, raping a child, which would result in a job transfer to a new diocese, and a coverup.

What just tears at my heart, though, is that both men choose to stay with the church (perhaps a new location, that’s all). The Roman Catholic Church is a huge part of their identity. It’s not that I don’t understand; I do. It’s not unexpected, and it’s not unusual. This is the dance they know; this is the music they are accustomed to (see metaphor here). I’d call it Stockholm syndrome, but that would be an insult to these men. I don’t know why they still choose to be Catholics. I don’t know why their friends aren’t leaving the church in droves, in support of these good men. I mean, I do know, but not in my gut. I don’t blame them a bit. Not in the slightest. Leaving would mean splitting their world into pieces.

But I do wish they would leave. I want some friend of theirs to stand up in church, proclaim that the hierarchy is wrong, and walk out. And I want that example to be followed by dozens, scores, hundreds of others. Because these men are right, and the church is wrong. And, from the comments, the congregation knows it.

Read the story. Get angry at the church. Again.

But… (and as bright sides go, this is a pretty good one) celebrate their marriage with them! Congratulations, Charlie and Al!


  1. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Congratulations, Charlie and Al. May your lives together be full of joy.

  2. BGT says

    I went to Catholic schools from the 6th grade all the way through college. They were all-boy or all-girl, but even though they included religion through high school they didn’t act on this kind of crap, at least that I can remember. Mine were not parochial schools though, high school and college were FSC. I guess their mission was more focused on education. The catholic educational system does have something of a schism…..

  3. BGT says

    Oops, Tis reminds me.

    Congratulations to Charlie and Al.

    Mea Culpa, mea maxima culpa.

  4. says

    It’s ironic that their homosexual relationship does not interfere with their faith, but their faith interferes with their homosexual relationship. Who can claim the high road here? Certainly not the church.

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