...in the sense that any Church which doesn't want to marry gays shouldn't have to. And in the sense that anyone who wants to mean a union between a man and a women when he says "marriage" should be allowed to speak this way. And should never be made to use an alternative definition for marriage he finds distasteful.
On the other hand, anyone who likes should be able to speak using words differently.
Government should take no position on the issue of what the word "marriage" means, and should fix the tax code and other laws to deal with "legal unions" or "government unions" or something like that, which gays should be allowed to have.
You may think this post actually constitutes an endorsement of gay marriage. I disagree. Because when I read pro-gay-marriage arguments, I find them bad. For example,
It seems to me that if the straight community cannot show a compelling reason to deny the institution of marriage to gay people, it shouldn't be denied.
First this is a fallacy - argument from ignorance.
But more to the point: gay and straight are *different*. As long as many people think the differences are important, there really should be two words. You can't argue "gay marriage" and "marriage" are the same without a term for gay marriage, it'd just be "marriage" and "marriage" are the same. Pretending there is no difference and obfuscating with language won't solve anything.
BTW, it shouldn't be called "gay marriage" b/c that term has baggage. Something new and more neutral should be invented. Like "oathbound" would work. I doubt many people would object to gays becoming oathbound anymore than they object to gays who act married without saying it.
currently, the laws do refer to "marriage", so what is to be done? well, i believe it really doesn't matter much. either way you write the law about marriage you wrong someone. i have no particular position about who should be wronged except to disagree with this one: "obviously the religious bigots should be the ones screwed over". also people who think the answer is "the other people should be screwed", such as Andrew Sullivan, can go to hell.