The following op-ed by Jim Smith of Equally Blessed was published in the National Catholic Reporter on August 25, 2015, in preparation for the upcoming Equally Blessed pilgrimage to the World Meeting of Families in September.
In just a few weeks, throngs of Catholics will enter the Vatican-sponsored World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. These people will bring the same tears of love and faith brought to Jesus so many years ago. Fourteen families from our Equally Blessed coalition will be among them: parents of transgender or gay children who have been challenged over thousands of days and nights to love those kids unconditionally, who know viscerally what it means, in the words of the prophet Micah, “to act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly” in their parental roles; gay couples with children who live by the promise to raise those children “according to the love of Christ”; transgender, intersex and gay persons themselves who are coming through a fire of marginalized existence into the freedom of God’s beloved, finally knowing their “sin” is not who they are and whom they love, but what chases us all — greed, fear, hate, hubris.
These Catholics have much to bring to the table of the World Meeting of Families. We are not the enemy of the many bishops, including Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, and Pope Francis, who will also attend.