Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz has the outdoor wedding industry in his sights: Catholics need to marry under the roof of a church, he says.

He said people may have “good intentions” for wanting to get married in unusual locations, such as the place where they met. But he said a “recreational” or “let’s-have-fun” ceremony sets one tone for a marriage, while a church wedding sets another.

“Because something is deeply personal, that doesn’t mean it’s simply private,” Kurtz said. “… This lifelong promise needs to be made in a sacred place.”

A wedding, he said, marks not just the couple’s commitment to each other. Rather, he compares it to the sacrament of ordination for a priest — being consecrated as a “witness for God’s love to the world.”

“The sacrament is not just the wedding; the sacrament is the life of that couple that begins at the wedding,” he said.

This threat to the outdoor wedding industry by religious intolerants must not stand! Congresswomen Carolyn Maloney and Eleanor Holmes Norton, who along with their male colleague Elijah Cummings walked out of Darrell Issa’s men-only women’s health hearing last week, must convene a hearing on the Louisville Archbishop’s proposed infringement on Freedom of Place Marriage. After all, if the Church intends to ban marriage ceremonies in places created by God, in favor of weddings held exclusively in the places created by man for God’s exaltation, shouldn’t Outdoor Wedding Stakeholders have their say in the decision?

In the spirit of Chairman Issa’s inclusiveness, this hearing would feature only brides, mothers of brides, lady wedding planners, gay florists and flower girls. As unmarried — and forever potentially unmarried — men, no priests of the Church would be called to testify. After all, none of them are seeking to get Outdoor-Married!

As Chairman Issa proclaimed, we only want those with ‘expertise’ at the witness table. The Archbishop of Louisville can watch from the back row of the hearing room.