Some Catholic Leaders and LGBTQ advocates are criticizing the Vatican after it said the church cannot bless gay unions.
"This is part of that whole pattern of small incremental progress and then big step backs and so this becomes incredibly frustrating for LGBTQ people who are a part of the Roman Catholic Church," said Ross Murray, senior director of education and training at the GLAAD Media Institute.
"To hear people describe the desire of gay and lesbian persons for love or affection this year that described as sinful is crushing," said Rev. Bryan Massingale, professor of sociology and ethics at Fordham University.
The statement from the Vatican said the church still welcomes and blesses gay people, but would not bless their unions.
According to polling over the last decade, a majority of U.S. Catholics say they support same-sex marriage.