Sadly, in this case, it may be that marriage /needs/ to be defined by the government. As a civil union between two consenting adults, regardless of gender. Or else gay couples will never receive the government granted benefits that hetero couples do. Insurance? Tax breaks? Alimony and child support in the case of divorce? As long as gay couples don't get any of these, a gay marriage is a second-class handfasting.
And, is it just me, or do objections to gay marriage only prove that we have a long way to go to truly seperate Religion from the State?
My entire point is that the government must, by definition, define civil unions, and that that's the limit of what they should define, because ideally, the two are different matters. (Understand, please, that I am religious and, for me, marriage is a religious matter, and I believe firmly in government being kept out of it consequently.)
So no, I continue to think marriage should not be defined by the government, or used as a preqreuisite for anything, or indeed dealt with in any way by the government.
I see. We are at semantic loggerheads, then. I understand your point. Religion and state should be seperate. The government should not interfere in religion (though there are situations that IMHO should require interference, but they are not important to this discussion).
But a marriage performed by a religious leader is recognized in the same manner as one performed by the Justice of the Peace. Or the captain of a sea-going vessel. So are civil and religious unions the same, or different, in the eyes of the government?
In any case, I agree that the government should only define civil unions.