Daily Links, May 8: marriage vote, scholarship controversy, and the last "real" Catholics

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Today North Carolina votes on a proposed constitutional amendment that would make couples comprised of one man and one woman the "only domestic legal union," effectively banning same-sex marriages and civil unions. The Catholic Church is of course championing the amendment, and the New York Times predicts it will likely be approved by the state's voters.

Catholic schools in Wales have been told they must offer a "balanced perspective" when talking about same-sex marriage, coming on the heels of schools there getting in legal trouble for promoting a partisan agenda, according to the Welsh government, by reading a letter to students that opposed same-sex marriage.

More trouble for gay Catholics back on this side of the Atlantic: A bishop blocked an openly gay high school student from receiving a college scholarship from a gay rights advocacy group. The student, the school board, and pretty much everyone involved has expressed disappointment over the bishop's decision.

And now back to Europe: The editor of the Irish Catholic newspaper has bought the rights to the publication in hopes of making it a strong, independent voice for lay Catholics.

At Religion Dispatches, Marian Ronan wonders how many "real Catholics" are left and if the Vatican is working toward a "smaller, purer" church.

On our own blog today, Meghan Murphy-Gill looks at how we should frame our discussions of women in the church and Liz Lefebvre weighs in on the commencement speaker controversies from the perspective of her own college graduation from Notre Dame, which featured a speech by President Barack Obama.

Finally, don't forget that this Sunday is Mother's Day. Sojourner's blog today has some helpful advice in the form of 10 gifts not to buy for your mom.