Hi, my name is Karen Kelley and I live in Burlington, Vermont. My husband Paul and I are active Catholics who love and support our adult children, including our daughter Sara and her spouse Lauren, who were recently married.
In 2013, Sara and Lauren participated in Equally Blessed’s pilgrimage to World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro. Now I’m traveling with Lauren’s mother, Debbie to World Meeting of Families to talk about our experience as mothers of women in a same-sex marriage. I would like to opportunity to speak with families from other places who face challenges with the Church. I want people to know that families who have LGBTQ children are not any different and just want love and respect.
For years, my husband and I were very active in our parish community. I taught religious education from 1st grade through high school and ran our folk choir as guitarist and leader. As the years passed, our priest’s became more and more homophobic. Sara and Lauren actually had to walk out a of Christmas Eve mass due to the content. We are now looking for another parish that will be a welcoming, safe place for our whole family.
I hope to tell His Holiness about the love my family has for each other. I really like my children, not just because they are mine, because they are really good people. The Bible says that “God created humanity in His own image and it was good.” My daughter is created in the image of God and she lives her faith more authentically by living what she believes. Her heart is truly social justice minded. She teaches us all.