EWTN Catholic Q&A
Niece and same-sex marriage
Question from Lisa on 02-18-2013:

I was born and raised Catholic, as well as all my siblings. Of the six of us, I am the only practicing Catholic. My 21-year-old niece recently "came out" and over Christmas got "engaged" to her girlfriend. They live in a state where same-sex marriage is legal. The wedding date hasn't been set but will not be until 2015. My sister knows my feelings on same-sex marriage. I am completely opposed to it. However, I love my niece and want to be a supportive aunt, but I don't feel I can attend any "same-sex" marriage. How do I let my sister and niece know? Or do I just say I can't make it since I do live out of state?

Answer by Catholic Answers on 02-24-2013:


If your sister knows your feelings, then this should not be a big deal. If and when an invitation arrives -- and, since two years is an extraordinarily long "engagement," who knows if this "marriage" will actually occur -- then send back a formal decline to the invitation (i.e., written out in the style of the invitation) and privately express to your sister that you are sure she and your niece, "knowing your feelings," will understand why you cannot attend. If you want to send a letter to your niece and her partner, expressing your love and your prayers for them (without mentioning what you are praying they obtain, such as the grace of conversion), then that would be a gracious gesture of appropriate support.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers