Help stop the “HRO Amendment”

It is getting late in the game, however I simply want, with one last exhortation, to encourage all conscientious, faith-adhering Catholics, particularly those who live and vote in Duval County, to read-up on the same-sex/transgender amendments that are to be added to the existing Human Rights Ordinance (HRO). They are currently being ram-rodded through the City Council hearings with extensive pressure, intimidation, and vitriol by the so-called LGBT activists. Last week you received a copy of Bishop Estevez’s statement opposing this HRO amendment, warning, that these amendments, expressly identify and provide protection for grossly immoral behavior. The additions that the LBGT activists are surreptitiously trying to make legally binding, are hidden in the seemingly innocuous words “gender expression” and “gender identity“.

 Gender expression is ‘code’ for the grossly sinful act of sodomy. They want to force Christians to accept and protect sodomy, which from time immemorial have been taught by our Creator, to be a gravely sinful act. In the Book of Leviticus  20:13,  the Word of God says: “If  there  is man who lies with a  male as those  who  lie with a woman,  both of  them have committed  a detest­able act;  they  shall  surely  be put  to death.”

 Our Catholic faith calls us to be compassionate and instructs us as such, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), beginning with paragraph 2357… “Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. 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.

So why on earth is our City Council succumbing to the subterfuge of a few immoral  activists to make a law that demands  that all citizens hold this behavior in high esteem, and never show any disdain for the sinful and disordered example they are striving  to make normative. The cornerstone of any balanced Society is the family, which has already suffered terrible demeaning, by the Supreme Court. They have legally ridiculed the sacred bond of marriage (that God instituted to propagate the earth) to further aid the LGBT activists in their quest to be declared normal. The amended HRO language will further erode the role of family in our   city.

There is no “phobia” in the Catholic attitudinal position, but rather clearly defined and heartfelt compassion. In paragraph 2358 of the CCC we are instructed that…“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.

In all instances of encountering sinful behavior, we are to genuinely love the sinner, but hate the sin! I am friends with over a dozen couples that have children that have been drawn to the homosexual lifestyle. I am aware of, and share empathically, in the great pain that evokes. We all have great love and empathy for family members, and for some, that evolves to no longer hating the sin and finding ways to relativistic ally rationalize and profess acceptance of the disordered and sinful behavior. They unwittingly transgress their well-defined Catholic faith that clearly teaches that homosexual acts are intrinsically evil. My prayers are with them all, that the grace of God will move them to understanding, compliance and peace. I personally take every opportunity I am offered to take time to sit and converse with those who struggle with this inclination, to deepen my understanding and be empathic. I am friends with several who, with the grace of God, have left their same-sex relationships, and for many years now, have lived a chaste and peace-filled life, back in the glow and support of our loving merciful Savior.

I have written here in the past about the duplicitous call for “Tolerance” by liberal and LGBT activists. They started by wanting us to simply tolerate their immoral sexual behavior…then to tolerate so-called same-sex marriage.  Our country has fallen prey to rationalizing sexual misbehavior, unheard of one generation ago. The power of rationalization (the means by which one mentally transforms wrong into right) is what drives the gay-rights movement and gives it its’ revolutionary character. And lo and behold, in one generation, the homosexual cause has moved subtly from simply “a plea for tolerance” to a drive for “conquest of the culture”. And why? Because the security of its rationalization, requires universal acceptance.  In other words, we must all say that “bad” is “good”.

Ask yourself…have you felt a move within yourself to give your acceptance to homosexual behavior and so-called same-sex marriage? You are not alone. The propaganda has been quite effective. However, the Word of God and our Catholic faith tell us, that to do so (to accept them as normal, good, moral) is erroneous and wrong. Love the sinner and hate (do not tolerate) the sin. Sin begets sin. A normalization of sinful lifestyles and behaviors will certainly be harmful to our city. The ludicrous claim… that to not normalize and provide legal protection for the sinful act, will make our City unattractive to newcomers is just another bold face prevarication. Check out Houston, Texas where voters turned down their HRO ordinance revision and they just hosted the 51st Super Bowl. As the Bishop said, this HRO amendment will threaten and put at risk the right to life, liberty, happiness, and conscience of all those with deeply-held religious beliefs regarding the sanctity of marriage, sexuality and gender…beliefs guaranteed us by the U.S. Constitution.  Talk to your family and friends and ask them to call/contact their city council representatives to vote “No” as to yours in defense of the faith.

Father Denis