When Kathleen Gilbert reports on the passage of same-sex marriage legislation in New Hampshire for the reporting organ Catholic Online, she places the word marriage in quotes every time it is used in reference to same-sex couples and without quotes every time it is used in accordance with Catholic strictures. The point: if it isn’t done the Catholic way, it isn’t real.
The effort to declare Catholic marriages as real and same-sex marriages as false runs counter to empirical trends. More and more same-sex marriages are taking place across the country, and more and more states are declaring them to have legal status. At the same time, fewer and fewer members of Catholic families are participating in various sorts of sacraments, including marriage, through the Catholic Church. And while the Catholic Church and its organs of leadership continue to push hard against the legalization of same-sex marriage, Catholic laity are growing more supportive of same-sex marriage as time passes, and more vocal about their support. As marriage equality becomes more and more real, the mandates of Catholic Church leaders become more “so-called.”