Some Catholic leaders, both locally and nationally, are actively campaigning against gay marriage; they consider it a direct assault on church teaching that defines marriage as only between heterosexuals.It's interesting how the Star Tribune seeks to redefine free speech and religious freedom. You're free to speech but just not in public, only in the privacy of your church.
Framing gay marriage as a civil right, they say, can cause discrimination against Catholic believers.
But church doctrine and federal laws are two separate considerations. In a country with free religion and speech, any religious group can adopt its own rules. It cannot, however, impose those rules on civil society.
And though some church leaders hold antigay views, there is significant dissent even among their own parishioners. According to Catholics for Marriage Equality MN, a recent poll of local Catholics showed that a majority favored equal marriage rights.
And it approvingly mentions the efforts of Catholics who oppose the church's position, presumably it's alright for them to speak out publicly in support of marriage redefinition.
What drives the anti-freedom speech, anti-civic involvement of conservative, religious groups is of course ideology. The Catholic Church's position in favor of marriage is at odds with the left's efforts to redefine a fundmental social institution - marriage between a man and a woman.
The suggestion that religious voices have no right to be voiced in the public square is of course selective. It's targeted at religious voices espousing views at odds with secular, liberal orthodoxy. You won't hear them take after religious voices on the left. Like for instance, religious groups which support the redefinition of marriage or abortion.
Of course, the Star Tribune's hostility to involvement of the Catholic Church in the public square is at odds with the principles underpinning our Constitution and founding and historical precedent. The founders understand the fundamental importance religious principles played in our nation's establishment and well-being. Some of our nation's most important social reform movements were motivated by religious sensibilities. Just look at the anti-slavery and civil rights movements which were given impetus by religious voices.