The 'traditional' same-sex wedding

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Feb 05, 2016

In this spectacularly lopsided article for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Joel Connelly is determined to show that it is unreasonable for a Catholic high school to refuse to publish a notice of a graduate’s same-sex wedding. Connelly blames the refusal on the “chilly, hard-line stand” taken by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, who has been “raining down prohibitions on same-sex marriage.”

Other Catholics are more willing to accept the homosexual alliances, Connelly reports. Most notably:

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, a devout Catholic, went to St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in 2013 to marry his husband, Michael Shiosaki, in a deeply traditional ceremony.

Of course Mayor Murray is described as a “devout” Catholic; that adjective always comes into play when a reporter is applauding a public figure for dissenting from Church teaching. That dissent explains why a “devout” Catholic would want to be married in an episcopal church. But feast your eyes on the final phrase of that sentence: “a deeply traditional ceremony.”

No doubt it was “deeply” traditional in the same sense in which Murray is a “devout” Catholic. (I wonder if he’s “deeply” devout?) But tell me: just how traditional can a wedding ceremony be, if the couple are of the same sex?

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: MatJohn - Feb. 10, 2016 8:25 PM ET USA

    "How traditional is a same sex wedding ceremony? Why, as traditional as a Bruce becoming a Caitlyn.

  • Posted by: nix898049 - Feb. 07, 2016 3:32 PM ET USA

    Just substitute the word benighted when the text reads devout. That's what I do.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Feb. 06, 2016 7:21 AM ET USA

    Another reason we must stop referring to real marriage as "traditional." Real marriage is NATURAL marriage. Anything else is contrary to nature and the Designer's design.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Feb. 05, 2016 6:06 PM ET USA

    I am always amused (in order to avoid despair) at the people who describe themselves as "devout" Catholics, Christians, or whatever, followed immediately by the most egregious violations of their religious requirements.

  • Posted by: mwean7331 - Feb. 05, 2016 5:31 PM ET USA

    Unfortunately in this day and age many Catholics don't understand the meaning of "devout" Certainly if you are a Catholic (devout or not) you know same sex marriage is anathema and you know the story of Sodom and Gohmorra. Even some Bishops preach the falsehood about "listening" to your conscience. They don't say anything about forming a conscience before you can listen to it properly. If Bishops think this way the laity will believe it.