National Catholic Reporter

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Same-sex marriage

Ireland's gay marriage referendum a sign of Roman Catholic decline

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"In Ireland," says a character in a 1904 George Bernard Shaw play, "the people is the Church, and the Church is the people."

But not so much anymore.

On Friday, voters in this once deeply Roman Catholic country will decide whether the country's constitution should be amended to allow for gay marriage. If the amendment passes, Ireland will become the first country to legalize same-sex civil marriage by popular vote.

Faith leaders call for religious protections ahead of gay marriage hearing

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As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments Tuesday that could wind up legalizing gay marriage nationwide, dozens of Christian leaders have issued a call to civil authorities to preserve "the unique meaning of marriage in the law" -- but also to "protect the rights of those with differing views of marriage."

European countries distinguish between religious, civil marriages

As some in the United States consider whether religious and civil marriages should be separated, they might look to practices in Europe, where most countries have long distinguished between the two.

"Whereas the Catholic church has a clear vision of the special meaning of marriage, it's viewed in the civil context as a contract between two people -- and it's a fact of modern society that such contracts vary," Thierry Bonaventura, spokesman for the 34-country Council of European Bishops' Conferences, told Catholic News Service on Monday.

Oklahoma bill would abolish state's role in granting marriage licenses, leave it in clergy hands

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In an effort to block the state's involvement with gay marriage, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday to abolish marriage licenses in the state.

The legislation, authored by Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell, amends language in the state law that governs the responsibilities of court clerks. All references to marriage licenses were removed.

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May 22-June 4, 2015

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