PMomma reminded me about California's groundbreaking move, and it inspired me to write a little about the subject. First of all, yay, California! In practical terms, I'm all for gay marriage. I don't see how anyone could look at anti-miscegenation laws and the case law striking them down, and then argue that gay marriage can be banned. Just fifty years ago, people were panicking over mixing of the races, and claiming that the definition of marriage meant two people of the same race. Sound familiar?
However, I have to say that I think the government should get out of the marriage game altogether. Those "civil unions" that some fence-sitters advocate? The government should indeed provide civil unions - to everyone! Part of the hysteria over gay marriage is that "marriage" is steeped in religious history. Since it seems impossible to disentangle the word from religious trappings, shouldn't the government keep its hands off entirely? Two people who want to get hitched should be able to go to a government entity and get certified as a couple, in order to ease financial and legal issues. If they also want to get "married," they can do so in the house of worship of their choice. There, now everyone's equal under the law, the government isn't entangled with religion, and the homophobes get to keep their sacred vocab word.