This was a question I first asked on at this conservative blog, but got no replies (as of this post, almost 24 hours later, anyway... Hopes still run high.)
Putting the terms "marriage" & "civil union" aside for a second, the question is, what rights & privileges would you grant to homosexual couples who choose to enter a legal "relationship," and what rights/privileges would you withhold from them?
In other words, under federal, state, & local law, how should the legal "relationship" between homosexuals differ from the legal "relationship" between heterosexuals, regardless of what our government or we, the people, call either relationship?
I ask because several people at the blog linked above & elsewhere have said they believe civil unions for gays are alright, but gay marriage is not. (As anyone who's read much of what I've written on the subject knows, I'd agree, were marriage used strictly as the term of religion it was meant to be, rather than as a term of US law.)
In the wake of a Newsweek poll that said 31% of the respondents support full marriage rights for same-sex couples (as opposed to support for civil unions or partnerships for same-sex couples, but not full marriage rights (32%) or opposition to any legal recognition for same-sex couples (30%)), the author of the blog linked above has been using the term "full-blown same-sex marriage rights." However, he's also spoken approvingly of "full civil equality for gay Americans," and I'm trying to figure out what the differences are between "full blown marriage rights" (for everyone) & "full civil equality," because I don't believe there are any....
I'm not asking for the religious reasons for opposing gay marriage. If your religion teaches you that homosexuality is a sin, that's your belief, and I'm fine with your believing that--and trying to persuade others to feel the same, even (though I don't think your beliefs should have any weight in US law, unless there is also a secular reason to do so... We are not a theocracy.) But as a matter of US law, how should "marriage" differ from "civil union?" How do we recognize the "full civil equality" of gay people--in fact, of ALL people--without recognizing the same "full blown marriage rights" for them that we do for everyone else?
Anyone care to explain it to me?
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