Mahlersfifth wrote: But what I don't understand is why any one cares if people of the same sex have the right to marry? So what? If there is a church that will marry them, then why do church goers care? Why ban it? Explain this to me...
If it were simply a church matter, I wouldn't care. However, it is not entirely true that we have a 'separation of church and state', and we do have a 'full faith and credit' requirement in the Constitution. The church is required to file a record of the ceremony with the State, and the various States have to give 'full faith and credit' to the laws of other States, excepting when those laws violate the States' own laws. This is why there is a rush to enact anti-gay marriage laws in States that oppose it, since such a marriage performed in one State may be required to be accepted as valid in other States which have not prohibited it. There exists some precedent for this in the status of common-law marriages and, I believe, marriages of children below the legal age of consent.
This means, to many of us, that church members whose faith does not support the concept of 'gay marriage', could be legally forced to accept them into the fold once the measure starts to gain general acceptance. In most Christian churches, homosexual acts are considered immoral, and marriage requires a consummation of the sacrement through a sexual act (the ceremony alone does not constitute a 'marriage') thus, by condoning the ceremony, the church must also condone the immoral act that supports it. If it were simply a matter of a ceremony performed in a church that condoned it, with no legal obligations imposed on other churches and other faiths, it would be a non-issue for most of us.
While it is improbable that a church will be sued for discrimination if it does not accept into its' fold members who are engaged in acts that violate the tenets of the church (that is to say, the courts will not likely require the Catholic Church to accept gay couples as members), the various organizations that are components of the Church, run by the Church, or supported by the Church, may be sued for discrimination. Catholic schools, Catholic hospitals, Catholic charities, Catholic-sponsored organizations could all be charged with discrimination if they do not recognize and accept gay couples, despite the fact that doing so runs afoul of the very tenets of the faith. Catholic hospitals have already been sued in some States for failing to provide abortion-related services, and some States have sought to impose laws mandating such services
at Catholic hospitals. So much for separation of church and State....