I thought I'd written up on this before, but apparently not. So, to forestall further conversations, here's what I think about the failure of Proposition 8 in California to protect the rights of gays to get married: I think government (more specifically, the American government) should get the heck out of the marriage business and leave it to each religious group to determine whether they will or won't let any two particular people get married in their house of worship.
Thankfully, we in Canada recognize the idiocy in letting the religious segment of our society dictate to those not of their faith. We let gays marry. For a country with an avowed separation of state and religion, Americans seem awfully bent on letting theocrats have a big say.
That said, I think what we call marriage should be turned into a legal entity called Unioning (or something more elegant, but meaning basically the same). Unioning should be allowed between any two consenting adults. If they want to partner up, so be it. They get all the benefits of partnership and all the warts. If they want to Dissolve (the cute replacement name for divorce), they go through Dissolution Court and split the crap they have gathered together as a couple. In every way, Unioning is the same as Marrying. Spouses can call each other spouse, partner or husband/wife. It's THEIR Union so the rest of us have no say on how they run it. As long as it does not ACTUALLY impact on other parts of society. Real impact, not that phony slippery slope of 'PROMOTING' the act that the Inquisitors want to suggest will happen.
No, the churches, temples, mosques and synagogues can be as discriminatory as they want. If one of these houses of worship don't want to allow two people to marry in their hallowed hall, then it's perfectly okay for them to discriminate. Their house, their rules. If two people, who don't meet the religious gathering's idea of a perfect couple want the blessing of the group, the group doesn't have to give it to them.
Does that mean no gay couple will ever have a church wedding? Of course not. Not all religious groups kowtow to the extremist side of their faith and deny happiness and salvation to those who would worship there, but aren't mainstream to the core of that group. Many ministers, priests and rabbis will choose to endorse the marriage of two people, without respect to their race, creed or sexual preference. The religion might be a key point though [G].
If there were no actual benefits to getting married, I'd tell the gay portion of the world to get over not getting the acceptance of groups that are far less tolerant than the religious origin of their faith. It's shocking how often intolerance is the core of the belief that always seems to mention tolerance favourably in their 'good book.' But there ARE benefits to getting married. They are ensconced in the laws. In fact, the rollback of gay marriage rights in California might very well be struck down due to that very fact. It's discriminatory and the GOVERNMENT can't do that.
Just to be clear. I'm not headed for the altar in a gay marriage (or non-gay marriage) anytime soon. I have a large extended family and percentages say two or three of them are probably gay. I'm championing the idea of Unioning for them, the poor deluded fools who think they might want to get married some day.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.