The first is adoption. What some don't realize is that Catholic Charities is the largest facilitator of adoptions in the country. Now, in certain states where gay marriage has become legal, CC has been forced to get out of the adoption business because they must - by law - extend adoption rights to legally married couples. It's clear (on religious grounds) why CC would rather fold than facilitate such a thing.
Every study under the sun has concluded the same thing: children do best with a mother and a father, and by politicizing the issue in the name of "rights," I find many wrapped up in a kind of narcissism which disregards the welfare of children. So this points toward your "who would be hurt" concern.
There are so many separate items here that they need to be taken up separately.
- Let's consider the remarks that "Catholic Charities is the largest facilitator of adoptions in the country... [I]n certain states where gay marriage has become legal, CC has been forced to get out of the adoption business because they must - by law - extend adoption rights to legally married couples."
- Should a private organization (particularly a religious organization) have a veto over the laws of a State, especialy inasmuch as they affect people of other beliefs than theirs? If the Union of Orthodox Jewish Rabbis, which certifies that food is Kosher so that those Jews who believe this is important know what they can and cannot eat, were to petition the legislature of any State to pass a law barring the sale of pork in the State, because it means that inadvertent contamination of Kosher food is more likely, what would be the likelihood of its being enacted?
- Is the Catholic Charities organization really totally unable to use discretion in determining whether a couple is fit to adopt a child? Suppose that a couple whose religious beliefs were about the same as those of Richard Dawkins came to them to get a child to adopt. I suspect that CC would conclude that such a couple might be harmful to the spiritual health of the child, and would probably refuse to help them adopt.
- In any case, joining the issue of adoption to that of marriage is something of a red herring. Single people can adopt -- and even unmarried couples can adopt. (Ever hear of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt?) Gay couples -- even in the majority of States, which do not have gay marriage -- do adopt children. It may be difficult, and there are states where they cannot, but they do it in some states. So that's not a major issue.
- Furthermore, consider the statement that "children do best with a mother and a father." As compared to what? Have there been any studies comparing families headed by same-sex couples to those headed by heterosexual couples? Are there even enough families headed by same-sex couples to provide statistically-significant results? I believe (give me a citation if you can show otherwise) that any studies that have "concluded ... [that] children do best with a mother and a father" compare them to children in single-parent households. That is irrelevant to the question of whether gay couples should be allowed to marry and adopt.
As I said in my post yesterday, I think that advocates of same-sex marriage would better expend their effort to provide for civil unions or other equivalents to marriage in those states that do not have them, but I see no reason to repeal the laws where same-sex mariage has already been legalized.