The question was put to me today on Twitter: "Why can't we just get the gov't out of the marriage business altogether?"It's a valid question. There's no particular reason why the government should insert itself into what some see as a religious institution or sacrament, except for one thing: It's also a legal status. Marriage makes a difference in terms of tax liability, rights to inheritance, etc.
Since we have a government which theoretically guarantees equal rights to all, this makes it a legal issue, and not just a religious or spiritual one.
Some states may wish to explore calling everything a civil union and not a marriage, for both gay and straight couples. I suppose that's an option, though it's kind of silly. It's really just playing semantic games and slapping another label on marriage. It also seems a bit mean-spirited and, frankly, bigoted as hell.
In another post, I said the following:
If you want to know why some people hate Christians, it's because some Christians expect people who do not share their beliefs to abide by the teachings of their religion anyway, which is unreasonable. And often, they're kind of nasty and unfeeling about it, which is then reciprocated, which generates more antipathy, etc.
I've said for some time now that religious groups opposed to same-sex marriage are doing it wrong. If they really care about religious liberty, that should have been their focus. They should have been working on legislation that guaranteed freedom of religion would not be impacted by any potential legalization of same-sex marriage. Instead, they've been focused on things like California's Proposition 8 and other things that amount to "You people stop that right now," and they've squandered an opportunity.
And now that they've squandered that opportunity, they're playing the victim.
I stand by these words. It's now the law of the land. Deal with it.