I get it. In election after election in America, voters have decided that they don’t want gay people to be allowed to legally marry. So let’s give the people what they want – the government should not marry gay people.
Marriage is really a religious institution anyway. The government doesn’t have any role in confirmations, first communions, or God forbid brises (ritualized circumcision), so why should it be involved in marriage? So let’s allow the religious institutions to do their thing and get the government out of the business of performing religious functions like declaring marriage.
Of course, there are a lot of legal benefits that the government gives married people, such as inheritance and power-of-attorney rights. We wouldn’t want to see these rights disappear just because the government has relegated declaring marriage to religion. The government can still give these benefits, just not under the name of “marriage.” Let’s say you’re a guy and you’re going to marry in a Catholic church the woman who’s been your sweetheart for eight years. Get a civil union as well. But there’s no reason to stop at heterosexuals in love. You and your sister are in your 70s, unmarried, and have been living together for 25 years. Get a civil union. You and your gay lover are soul mates. I see a civil union in your future.
By making this change, the government rightfully places the gay marriage debate back to religious institutions where it belongs. If the Baptists don’t want to perform gay marriages, that’s their prerogative. Let’s say that the Unitarians do allow gay marriages. You as an individual don’t have to recognize Unitarian marriages.
Religion has more of a role in people’s lives, and we get rid of discrimination. It’s a win for the right and the left.