The Catholic Church has a long standing history of sharing its feelings on gay marriage and unmarried couples. In general, they were not very accepting of either. And this may have been the case with other religions as well; however, the Catholicis made a point of making its feelings known. So, with that being said, there has been an unspoken, ongoing battle among those in a gay marriage, unwed couples and the church. Not that the church had a role whatsoever in gay marriage becoming legal or in any other aspect having to do with a couples existence; but, if a person who was born and raised Catholic and wanted to still be a part of the church and participate in either a gay marriage or as an unmarried couple, it made it very difficult to remain a part of the Catholic Church.
The tide may be changing a bit with respect to how the church feels about the abovementioned groups. Recently, there was a meeting of Catholic bishops and all the higher ups in the Catholic Church and they displayed unprecedented acceptance of all groups of individuals, gays and unmarried couples included. This marks the first time ever that the church is even willing to view the matter as anything other than anti-Catholic. This is a historical step for the church and for all of those who were shunned by the Catholic Church because of their beliefs.
What does this mean for all Catholics? This move by the church means a shift to a more open-minded religious atmosphere which can only be a good thing for society as a whole. With the Catholicism being at the forefront of a number of religious discussions, this move by the church will go a long way to encouraging other religions that were maybe not so accepting to open their doors to those who were previously left in the cold.
To many, religion is an important part of life no matter how you choose to live your life.
Source: CBS New York, "Vatican Document Signals Possible Shift In Attitude Toward Gays, Unmarried Couples", Oct. 13, 2014