Some years I go, I worked at a job for a few months. The people I worked with had all worked together for many years, and would continue to work together for the foreseeable future. They knew each other VERY well. We had a common work-room and ample time to converse during the work day. As I was just temporary, I did a lot of listening, and relatively little contributing–their conversation was plenty entertaining.

Only one man was among the coworkers, and it was quite clear to me that he was gay. In addition to any elements that people may say set off their gay-dar, he very openly talked about his same-sex partner, the house they had purchased a little out in the country, the antiquing they did, and their dogs who they treated like children. They had been together for a long time and were life-partners. Through several months of conversation, I also learned that he had been raised by a Catholic family and was quite spiritual himself.

Shortly before I was to leave that job, this man gave me a short explanation of his current lifestyle, although I cannot quite remember why he felt he needed to fill me in on these details, and I certainly did not ask for them. What he told me was, frankly, quite shocking to me: I never would have guessed that anyone, much less anyone I knew, would live like this. He told me that he and his life-partner were attracted to each other and totally committed to each other, but as staunch Catholics who could not be married in the church, lived celibate lives. Together. They shared every aspect of their lives they could share without being married. They did this with the blessing of their Priest. That’s the thing that got me: their Priest not only knew of their situation, but supported it.

I guess I don’t know a lot of Catholic Priests, but I would have thought that they would have been roughly as conservative on this issue as Mormons. What Mormons would certainly have considered a precarious situation (living with someone to whom you were attracted and committed), these Catholics accepted. I really respect that. Quite frankly, I understand religious gay people eschewing their religion. I don’t think I would ever propose, though, that anyone live with someone they loved while wanting to maintain their celibacy

So, what do you think of this set-up? Is it a touching compromise to honor the relationship and the religious standards? A very bad idea? An attempt to appease both God and man? Worth a try? Insane?