My sister and I were having a wide ranging discussion today and gay marriage came up.
I believe that love is transcendental and that as long as you love an adult, it doesn't matter who that adult is. I also believe that marriage is between a man and a woman but that same sex unions should absolutely have the same rights and privileges as a married couple.
However, my pro-gay-marriage friends and loved ones always shut down my stance with "I can't support "separate but equal" (all the ugly racist history behind that phrase is very hurtful by the way).
But here is the thing, separate but equal is the best case scenario for same-sex unions.
The US government at the state or federal level can recognize same sex unions as equal to a marriage and even call them "a marriage" but it is absolutely impossible under the First Amendment to force Temples, Mosques, Churches or any religion to perform a same-sex union.
So legally, it is a union and rightly so. But religious institutions are not bound to accept those unions as marriage.
Just as you can not force someone who is Conscious-Objector to enlist in the military, you can not force a religious organization, ANY religious organization to accept something that is against its collective belief-system.
Unless you are willing to give up the First Amendment, Separate-But-Equal is the best compromise for the GLBT community.
I truly believe that anyone in a permanent loving relationship should have official legal status whether it is a common law marriage, same sex union, or traditional marriage. But I also truly believe that religious organizations should never be forced to violate their beliefs. The First Amendment is one of the most valuable legacies of this great American Experiment and any injury to it, injures us all.