Thursday, May 28, 2015

On Same-Sex Marriage, Catholics Are Leading the Way MAY 27, 2015 New York Timesby Frank Bruni

"Take a look at this list of countries: Belgium, Canada, Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Brazil, France, Uruguay, Luxembourg and Ireland. Name two things that they have in common.

They don’t share a continent, obviously.  Or a language.  But in all of them, the Roman Catholic Church has more adherents, at least nominally, than any other religious denomination does.  And all of them belong to the vanguard of 20 nations that have decided to make same-sex marriage legal.

In fact, countries with a Catholic majority or plurality make up half of those where two men or two women can now wed or will soon be able to.

Ireland, obviously, is the freshest addition to the list. It’s also, in some ways, the most remarkable one. It’s the first country to approve same-sex marriage by a popular referendum. The margin wasn’t even close. About 62 percent of voters embraced marriage equality.


Irish voters nonetheless rejected the church’s formal opposition to same-sex marriage. This act of defiance was described, accurately, as an illustration of church leaders’ loosening grip on the country."

But in falling out of line with the Vatican, Irish people are actually falling in line with their Catholic counterparts in other Western countries, including the United States...
Catholics in the United States appear to be more, not less, progressive about gay rights than Americans in general are. In an especially ambitious survey conducted over the course of 2014 by the Public Religion Research Institute, about 60 percent of Americans who called themselves Catholic said that they approved of same-sex marriage, versus about 30 percent who didn’t. The spread among all respondents was 54 to 38, and the group that clearly stood in the way of same-sex marriage wasn’t Catholics. It was evangelical Protestants..."



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