Michael, I'd really like an answer from you to this question...
Why does the Catholic church care about gay marriage? Why are they sticking their nose's in other people's business?
Since gay marriage is against Catholic belief, the church won't perform or recognize the union.
The government isn't going to force the church to marry gay people.
What about all the Catholics practicing premarital sex, using birth control or having children out of wedlock? Are these Catholics turned away at the door? No, because the collection plate would be empty. I guess some 'sins' are more tolerable than others.
For the record I am neither Catholic or gay.
1. For the record, I have never heard any Catholic priest talk about gay marriage, in any of the 2,000+ masses that I have attended. I have only heard abortion get mentioned twice. I know the Catholic Church has a reputation for being obsessed with abortion and gay marriage, but in my lived experience, that is completely false.
I agree that gay marriage should be a non-issue, in a legal sense, as state laws do not govern church laws. However, marriage has great public significance, and changing marriage laws will have effects on society. Some people worry that legalizing gay marriage will have bad effects on gender relations (since it makes both genders interchangeable), while others worry it will eliminate the legal attachment between parents and the children they procreate. Personally, my concern is about promoting the idea that marriage is just about adult satisfactions and romantic attachment; a marriage built on passing emotions seems like a good recipe for divorce.
2. "The government isn't going to force the church to marry gay people." True, but there have been lawsuits and sanctions placed against Catholics, on the grounds that they discriminate against gay people. Some people are worried this will continue.
3. "What about all the Catholics practicing premarital sex, using birth control or having children out of wedlock? Are these Catholics turned away at the door? No, because the collection plate would be empty. I guess some 'sins' are more tolerable than others."
Gonna be honest here. The collection plate is empty, most of the time, no matter what.
The official law about this situation is Canon 915. People should be denied Communion, if it is publicly known that they continually commit grave sins. As Pope Francis pointed out, it is not a sin for gay people to be in committed relationships with each other; therefore, it is illegal for Catholics to exclude gays, on the basis of this law.
In fact, this law is rarely enforced against anyone. In general, Catholics tend to lean on the side of mercy and inclusion, rather than judgment and punishment. Indeed, that is what Jesus did when confronted with the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). When I was in training to become a priest, I was told that the important thing was to avoid creating a scene or causing scandal, by denying someone Communion. It was recommended to give out Communion to the person during mass, then speak to them about it privately, afterwards.