Mark Silk of Spiritual Politics says we may not know enough yet to make moral sense of the conflict between various Catholic social service agencies and the government of states in which same-sex marriage is legal:
So the Archdiocese of Washington has gotten out of the foster care/adoption business, for which they've been receiving $2 million annually from the public purse. D.C.'s new same-sex marriage law requires all married couples to be treated equally, and because the Catholic church regards same-sex marriage as a crime against nature, it won't be involved in placing and supervising children in homes where the two adults have been joined in such. In its press release, the Archdiocese says, "Shame on the City for kicking a fine service provider to the curb." No, the provider's spiritual bosses just decided they couldn't render unto Caesar in this case.
Washington is following the lead of Boston and San Francisco, which also folded up their foster care operations rather than treat all unions equally. But so far as I can tell, this has not happened in Connecticut--and there's also Vermont, New Hampshire, and Iowa to look into. The reporting on this story has been woefully inadequate. When the issue is raised at all, it is simply waved away with the vague assertion that the D.C. statute is in some unspecified way more prescriptive than the law in other same-sex marriage jurisdictions.
Be that as it may, foster care is more the symbolic than the real issue. Other foster care agencies can readily take over from Catholic Charities--as is happening in Washington--while CC continues to do the rest of its social service work. The real issue is the applicability of the law to CC employees. How does it affect benefits packages provided to employees who may be in same-sex marriages?
Another question perhaps worth raising: when is a "religious objection" not really a religious objection, but a political one? Catholic teaching does not recognize re-marriage after divorce without an annulment. Like same-sex couples, the heterosexual couples involved in such relationships are engaging in sex outside of what the church recognizes marriage. Yet the church willingly provides services and benefits to those couples. Why? There is no hierarchy of sinfulness in Catholic theology regarding sex outside of marriage. So why treat gay and lesbian couples differently that twice or thrice married heterosexual couples?
The church is entitled to object to same-sex marriage on whatever grounds it chooses. The rest of us are entitled to point out that the double standard it has constructed on this issue has no basis in its own theology.