When Prop. 8 was current news here in California, I found the whole thing very confusing.
Why is the government involved in marriage anyway?
Fine; of course. People have been getting married for, like, ever and laws have been hung all over that relationship.
Default inheritance, hospital visitation, tax status; all kinds of stuff is tied to “married” in United States (and state) law.
Why is the State still using the word “marriage” for all this?
All that word does is cause conflict with the blocs of religious folks who also use the word, but load it up with a whole bunch of extra meaning that only they and their co-religionists agree on. Heck, most of these religions can’t even agree between themselves what “marriage” should mean to any degree of detail.
If they can’t agree between themselves, then why would we expect them to also agree with the increasing percentage of the country that follows no religion at all?
So just stop using the damn word.
If you’re one of those people to whom “marriage” has a bunch of extra meanings that aren’t there in the law, then you should be happy with the government dropping the word completely. No more arguing about what it means; it means to you what it means to you, and that’s fine.
If two people can’t have your particular definition of “marriage”, what do you care? Why would they care? They’re “married” in their church, not yours. The only reason there’s any fight about this bullshit is that the State uses the word too, and we’re all stuck with the State.
So the State should just get out of the argument over what “marriage” is entirely.
Domestic Partnerships for everyone.
And, sure, “marriage” for whoever wants that too.