Journal Article

Dare to Differ: Gay and Lesbian Catholics' Assessment of Official Catholic Positions on Sexuality

Andrew K T Yip

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 58, issue 2, pages 165-180
Published in print January 1997 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 1997 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3711875
Dare to Differ: Gay and Lesbian Catholics' Assessment of Official Catholic Positions on Sexuality

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This paper presents data collected through a postal survey of 121 gay and lesbian Catholics in Britain. It aims to examine the respondents' assessment of the official Catholic positions on sexuality in general and homosexuality in particular. The Catholic Church labels the homosexual inclination an “objective disorder” and the engagement in homosexual genital acts “intrinsically disordered.” A vast majority of respondents, however, found the Church's arguments against homosexuality and other sexuality issues unconvincing. Most respondents considered genital acts within a same-sex relationship entirely compatible with their Catholic faith. The respondents demonstrate the ability as social actors to rise above the “deviant” circumstances imposed on them. This is the outcome of their having developed a positive self identity, constructed primarily in opposition to the Church's teachings, that successfully incorporates their sexuality and religious beliefs.

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Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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