LGBTQ advocates in Mexico have demanded an apology from an archbishop after his disparaging remarks regarding marriage equality.
The Collective for the Protection of All Families in Yucatán (ColectivoPTFYuc) issued a complaint against Archbishop Gustavo Rodríguez Vega of Mérida, who said in a homily:
“‘God help us in this new circumstance, we are talking about the approval of equal marriage. Congress approved the redefinition of marriage, restricting protection to the Marriage Institution and the Family, leaving aside the sexual reality of the human being. . .
“‘This forces all parents to pay even more attention to the accompaniment and loving closeness with their children, at this time in which so much confusion is generated, especially in their adolescence.'”
ColectivoPTFYuc issued a statement rebuking the archbishop’s discriminatory language and demanding an apology:
“‘We express our total rejection against the hate speech towards LGBTQ+ people that the Archbishop of Yucatán used on Sunday, August 29, which has a direct impact on the social discrimination that our community experiences every day, on the access and exercise of our human and civil rights and even in the violence we suffer within our families. Freedom of expression and/or religious beliefs do not protect discriminatory speeches.'”
This is not the first instance Rodríguez Vega publicly denounced and rejected LGBTQ relationships and families. In 2015, the archbishop and his clergy stated that they would rather go to jail than bless same-gender marriages. In various interviews the Yucatán clergy said:
“‘They can’t require an institution like this Church to go against its principles.’
“‘Let the Supreme Court send the bishops and the priests to jail, whomever they want, but the Church cannot go against the law of our Lord Jesus Christ.’
“‘We know that we can go to jail, if some couple decides to marry civilly, but we won’t give it a blessing. This law cannot obligate the Church, the Church cannot go against its principles and in fact the only ones who will come to the Church will be those who share our principles.'”
Later that year, the archbishop slightly changed his message, at least when it comes to accompanying LGBTQ people. In a visit to the Cathedral of San Ildefonso, Rodríguez Vega expressed that his ministry is for everyone. When asked if this “everyone” includes LGBTQ people, he responded:
“‘They are also children of God, are also our brothers and of course we can not exclude anyone. God does not exclude anybody, we should not exclude absolutely anyone.'”
However, he stayed firm in his opinion on same-gender marriage by adding: “The Church will continue, must continue, talking about marriage for what it is: The union of a man and a woman and in order to bear children.”
If the archbishop of Yucatán is clear and unyielding in his rejection of same-gender marriage, then how does he plan to be “a minister for everyone” when he intends to exclude LGBTQ couples? LGBTQ Catholics grow tired of hearing that the church is a place for us on the condition that we deny the way in which we express love.
God’s love is unconditional, but these leaders put conditions on it. How can we be our full and authentic selves in Catholic spaces when the love we share is actively regarded as intrinsically disordered? If Rodríguez Vega and other Catholic clergy around the world truly desire to follow Jesus’ example of an inclusive and pastoral ministry, then they must accept all of who we are and who we love.
—Elise Dubravec, New Ways Ministry, October 6, 2021