what I had recently written. He objected strongly to my use of the term "elements of the vociferous hedonistic gay lobby". He assured me several times he wasn't a member of the Labour Party.
By using the term I was trying to suggest there were plenty of "gay" people who are neither vociferous or hedonistic, nor are in the lobby. That there are actually people who had a same sex attraction who might say they were homosexual or had a homosexual attraction or curiosity but would refuse to use the identity of being "gay", in part because it suggests a certain lifestyle and in part has certain political connotations.
My parish has many single people. Some try to cope others are content with living lives on their own. Many have close friends, some share flats or houses with a particular friend, occasionally some define their friend as a "partner". It could be a business partner or any other form of partnership; I can't see the problem. Some might say they are "gay", I ask them if they believe what the Catholic Church teaches, they say "yes", they come to Mass, they go to confession, they pray, sometimes together; I can't see a problem. They support the Church they tell me about their brothers and sister, their nephews, their nieces, they regret they have never had children themselves; I feel sympathy. In the confessional they might tell me of the battle they have with their sexuality, sometimes of their defeats in this battle; I give absolution and a light penance, assure them of God's strength and often admire their extraordinary heroism and their great love of God and appreciation of his Grace. Are these "elements of the vociferous hedonistic gay lobby"? No, they are Catholics looking for salvation along with everyone else, bearing a very heavy cross. Often these men, occasionally women, have been distanced from the Church and have returned. Often they have misunderstood what the Church is saying and why, sometimes they have met deliberate cruelty and misunderstanding from priests, and are still faithful; that is heroism!
My caller this morning said I didn't know much about the Brighton "Gay" community, that could be true. I have never visited a "Gay" club, I try to avoid walking through the pinker area of Brighton, I am a little shocked when I see men or women kissing or fondling one another on the street, whatever their sexual orientation and I try not to be on the streets during "Pride" weekend. My caller just saw it all as being friendly and supportive and fun.
As a Catholic priest one tends to pick up the debris of peoples' lives and hear almost too much of their pain and suffering. I am not sure that my caller has done many funerals for young gay men who have died of a drugs overdoses or suicide. I haven't kept a tally and I suspect many don't have a priest at their funeral but there have been a number over the last 10 years, outside of the gay community I can remember only one funeral for a man under 35 years old. There is a larger number of parents who ask for Masses to be said for dead gay children, their lives are torn apart when their offspring have died through suicide or drugs or AIDS. Then of course there are curious young men, exploring their sexual orientation, who have gone into bars and clubs and have got or been gotten high on drugs or drink and found themselves in someone's bed and things have gone much, much further than they had intended. I knew of one young man who had claimed he became HIV positive after one single encounter, I heard he killed himself. One hears of men too, who try to sleep with a different partner each night, of teenagers passed around from one older "lover" to another. I could go on and on, but I suspect you get the taste. This is what I meant by hedonistic gay lobby and I haven't even touched on the various fetish sub-groups. Why is it a lobby? Because it makes money for Brighton: money speaks.