Marriage is primarily a religious concept which has been institutionalized by our government in a blatant violation of church and state.
I am married to a loving woman, but I despise the very notion of marriage since it is a religious institution. The main reason I chose to get married was for legal benefits, and because my disgust for the institution was not stronger at the time than my fear of being socially ostracized by our respective families.
The legal benefits are plentiful: taxes, estate planning, social security, disability, health-care in companies that provide such benefits, death and inheritance benefits, legal protection, etc.
Which is why not allowing these same benefits to individuals who are of the same sex, but nevertheless are as committed to each other as heterosexual ones, is discriminatory.
Plain and simple.
The people trying to prevent this simply want to force their religious viewpoints down the throats of everyone.
The proposal of civil unions, which is often offered as a compromise, either by explicit approval or by explicit denial of any opposition to the idea, by people who reject gay marriages, such as the current Presidential candidates (Obama and McCain), is only a sugar-coated example of this discrimination.
By separating civil unions from marriages, you'll legally recognize unions between homosexuals as second-class to marriage. Some rights will likely not be entailed by a civil union, or else the idea is a sham, since there will otherwise be no legal difference between a civil union and a marriage.
And what happens when heterosexuals demand that they be allowed to enter into civil unions, and not marriages?
"Gay marriage is destroying traditional marriage" is the oft-heard cry of the shrill.
Traditional marriage is suffering, or in my estimation, enjoying a precipitous drop in longevity these days. Half of all marriages in the USA now end in divorce, doubled from about a generation ago.
You have to an imbecile to conclude that homosexuals are even remotely responsible for it!
So what's the solution?
Have the government out of the marriage business altogether. Instead institutionalize civil unions for everyone wanting to be in a union, and leave marriages to the religious institutions. It'll end the discrimination, and should make the religious folks happy too.
That is, if the real beef that religious folks had was keeping the religious notion of marriage intact.
Anybody has even a single rational argument against this proposal?