As is well-known, sex, marriage, children, and familial relationships are the most universal cultural classifications in history. Rapid and radical changes in these areas, as we seem to be experiencing at present affect us all. Western culture is built on thousands of years of understanding marriage, sex, and family life in traditional ways. To assume that we can redefine these understandings without radically affecting the culture is naive.
Codification of same-sex marriage is tantamount to codified endorsement of homosexuality. From the standpoint of the Catholic Church this affirms in their disorder people suffering from same-sex attraction, eliminating the stigmas that might have stymied the more introspective souls from fully giving themselves over to it. Indeed, thinking on the low percentages of homosexual couples actually marrying where “same-sex marriage” has been legalized, and the derision for traditional marriage witnessed in the writings of homosexual activists and academics, perhaps this endorsement may be seen to be the main end of backing for such “marriage.”
In Church teaching, people with same-sex attraction suffer from an intrinsically disordered orientation and stand in need of healing. When by power of law the state affirms the disorder, it creates conditions that risk escalating the number of those who will succumb to it. A question worth pondering: How will making homosexually-oriented souls into adoptive parents, idolizing their condition in school curricula, the media, etc., impact the culture, the sum of the ideas that shape us, the product of the health, virtue, and truthfulness of the people who live in it?
Here are some potential/actual short-term legal ramifications: Suppose one does not desire to attend a gay pride celebration in one's office? Suppose one does not wish rent a room in one's establishment to a homosexual couple, or bake a cake for a gay wedding? Increasingly proponents of same-sex "marriage" appear comfortable with the prospect that such coercion could (should?) happen..
At present the Catholic Church and many Christians must live an uneasy peace with the sexual revolution. Christianity and sin are always incompatible, but increasingly our culture is one of sin normalized, institutionalized; no longer do we need to be saved from it. How will same-sex marriage reduce this tension? The state and the culture increasingly say two persons of the same sex can marry; the Church says they cannot. This condition can’t last indefinitely. The Church’s position is an obstacle to "sexual liberation", of which homosexuality has become the current popular icon.
When the state and the rule of law posit that Catholic teaching on marriage is bigoted, how will this affect Catholics? Here are some interesting scenarios. Catacombs anyone?