This news should not really be so surprising, should it? The US population is continuing to (slowly) grow more accepting of the rights of its citizens. Despite apparent backtracking in some places (states moving to restrict a woman’s right to choose and access to birth-control, a few states—including my own—passing measures opposing same-sex marriage instead of recognizing it), we are, as a group, moving forward.
And it would have been nice if this weren’t even an issue (when I was a child, I had no idea that same-sex marriages weren’t legally recognized), but it’s better late than never. It’s nice to see that American Catholics are taking the lead among US Christians. Which, if I lived in a purely theoretical world, would be surprising.
Thinking about things theoretically (and ignoring my life experience), I know that I would expect Protestant Christians to be more in favor of same-sex marriage than their Catholic counterparts. Roman Catholics get their . . . let’s call them “policy updates” . . . from the Vatican, and the Church has shown no ambiguity in their disapproval of marriage equality. They are not only opposed to same-sex marriages within their own institution, but to legally recognized same-sex marriage between non-Catholics, within other religious traditions or entirely secular.
The Vatican sets policy for Catholics worldwide and, one might think, all actual Catholics would abide by that. But we know that that is not the case. The Vatican is also opposed to almost all forms of birth-control. Meanwhile, a survey of US Catholics found that eighty-two percent of them believe that the use of birth-control is morally acceptable. The Catholics who have Weasley levels of children, and it is not intentional? Or the Catholics who “lapse” just enough to have premarital sex but who balk at using condoms? They’re the exceptions, not the norm.
That’s showing itself to be the case for marriage equality, and I am delighted. Perhaps it is because Catholics are more populous in urban areas of the US, where attitudes are generally more liberal (it’s not always as easy to label a minority group as scary or immoral when you live around a bunch of them and know it).
I am excited for a better future. Also, impatient for it. Let’s get everyone on board with marriage equality as soon as we can, okay?