> As an outsider, it’s hard to understand how homosexuality vs homosexual acts could be seen in a different light since secular viewpoint does not really differentiate these two things.
Very simply, Catholics believe that people and their dignity are not defined by their actions. Homosexual sex acts and sex outside of marriage are sinful because they are not oriented towards both fruitful procreation (ie: the generation of children and raising a family), and emotional union. However, we don't think people should be persecuted if they commit such acts.
This is what the Catechism has to say about homosexuality.
> Chastity and homosexuality
> 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,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 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.
> 2358 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.
> 2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
I want to make a quick note about what I said earlier, that the sexual act is oriented towards the procreation of children. Some people and some marriages are sterile, however, the Catholic Church does not say sex within such marriages is sinful. We might ask, how is that consistent?
The reason why is because these sex acts are oriented towards the procreation of children, whereas homosexual sex acts are not. In other words, the intention to create children is there and the parts could fit, however, there is some impediment to procreation that occurs. Were that impediment removed, then the marriage would be fruitful. With homosexual sex, however, there is no possibility of such procreation, on any level, even a genetic level.
There are many marriages in the bible, such as the marriage between Abraham and Sarah, where children were born after a long period of sterility, reportedly through the grace of God. Another good counterexample I've heard is that women without uteruses have no possibility of procreation, but they are allowed to marry. However, that is not true anymore, thanks to uterine transplants, which again illustrates that even this is just an impediment.
Now, this isn't to say that every woman with this medical condition should get a uterus transplant. I'm just trying to illustrate the point that marriages aim at the creation of a family and obstacles to that aim don't change what the aim actually is.
For an even better take on traditional marriage, this is a solid book. It might help you understand our position better:
If you want to read a really well though out, explanation on why gay "marriage" isn't actually marriage, this is a really good book that explains things. You can even get it for three bucks!
The arguments presented in it are entirely secular as well. It doesn't say gay marriage isn't marriage because "the bible says so" or anything. It's just pure natural law philosophy and thinking about what marriage really means.
Anyway, it would make the Catholic view on marriage much more understandable. It really changed my own view when I read it.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I do think appealing to the natural / biological realities of our bodies as fundamental to our ethical and theological beliefs can appeal to people. It's pretty undeniable that, biologically speaking, the purpose of our sex organs is to procreate.
Anyway, I think I see the point you're making, as well. I think I will leave it at that, but if you haven't already read this book I will recommend it to you because I think it's interesting and helpful on the topic of marriage.
For a good argument explaining more conservative thoughts on gay marriage, I highly recommend this book. It might help you form your thoughts: https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1594036225
I'm afraid you're seriously mistaken. Two people of the same sex can't be married. It's like how a square can't be a circle. It just goes against the definition of the term.
If you want to understand why I say this, I highly recommend this book . It explains why it is illogical to consider anything other than an exclusive man-woman union as a marriage.
This isn't about "tolerance". This is about the meaning of the term marriage.