Catholic, Married, Gay

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Many of my friends are horrified that my husband and I still attend Catholic Church. After all, three Catholic schools denied our children admission because we weren't, and I quote, "a good model of a Catholic family." The new Archbishop backed Proposition 8, a law passed specifically to limit the civil rights of gay men and lesbians. And our pastor recently forbade drag queens from entering the church.

But recently the Church took out a series of advertisements with radio stations talking about the importance of marriage, and asking married couples how many people are influenced by their marriage. You know what? They got this right. Lots of people are affected by my marriage.

I'm not talking about Catholic marriage, where 40 percent end in divorce. I'm talking about my own gay marriage.

Brian and I got married, without blessing of either church or law, 25 years ago this month. And in those years, we have fostered medically at risk triplets, nursed friends dying of AIDS, helped friends detox from heroin, taken in rescue dogs and adopted drug-exposed, multi-racial foster children. None of my or Brian's brothers is still with his first wife, but Brian and I have stood together, for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health. And that has affected the way that our friends look at gay men and their ability to commit.

In 2008, in a very short window of time, Brian and I had the opportunity to get legally married, but at that point, legal marriage was almost superfluous.


Professor John Boswell argued that 1,000 years ago, the unchanging Catholic Church recognized same-sex marriage, and I suspect some day it will again. In the meantime, my husband and I attend Most Holy Redeemer, that gay-friendly church in the Castro, so the rest of the Church can see how many people are affected by our marriage.

With a Perspective, this is half of Mr. and Mr. Fisher-Paulson.

Kevin Fisher-Paulson is a captain with the San Francisco Sheriffs Department.