Government refuses to respect 'No' side in marriage debate
The Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Eamon Martin, has said that if we legalise same-sex marriage on May 22 the Catholic Church may stop recognising religious marriages as civil marriages as well. This would mean couples would have to have their religious marriages separately recognised by the State as civil marriages also.
To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this course of action. Lots of people - many of them 'No' voters - will continue to get married in churches if we pass same-sex marriage and why should they be put to the bother of having to have their religious marriage separately recognised by the State?
On the other hand, the State's understanding of marriage would then be so different from the Church's understanding that not acting as agents of the State on the civil registration side would be a way of making clear that the two understandings of marriage were now poles apart.