I will attempt to make the following argument and represent myself as a Catholic. I stand in a 2000 year tradition of marriage, which the state has determined to hijack through the following language: 'The State of California recognizes a marriage as between any two people of any gender'. The Catholic Church's position is that 'A marriage is between one man and one woman'.
A homosexual couple in the State of California desires to be married and Catholic. They are already registered domestic partners in civil union, and they have one singular gripe, which is that they wish the state to compel the Catholic Church to recognize them as married. The Church refuses and threatens to excommunicate them should they press their case. In every other way, they are members in good standing with the Church. They press their case. They are expelled from the Church.
What legal recourse should this couple have given the state's stated position? Why?
I am attempting to make this really about that one singular issue - the Church says they can be a civil union and remain Catholic. But they will not marry them, nor will they recognize them as married in the Church should they be married anywhere else. What should the state be able to do and on what grounds?