A couple paragraphs from an AP news story about same-sex civil marriages in Maryland show an inversion of the traditional understanding of church and state, whereby the church superintends the sacred and the state superintends the secular. Titled “Weddings abound as gay marriage becomes legal in Maryland,” the story describes wedding ceremonies between same-sex couples after explaining that Governor O’Malley pushed for legal recognition of same-sex civil marriage “against leaders of his Catholic faith” and the mayor of Baltimore opined on the relative sacredness of the resulting legal relationship:
The ceremonies follow a legislative fight that pitted Gov. Martin O’Malley against leaders of his Catholic faith. Voters in the state, founded by Catholics in the 17th century, sealed the change by approving a November ballot question.
“There is no human institution more sacred than that of the one that you are about to form,” Rawlings-Blake said during the brief ceremony. “True marriage, true marriage, is the dearest of all earthly relationships.”