Unordained: Compromises already offered:
1) Remove all marital rights from law. Any law that mentions "husband, wife, spouse, ... " shall be null and void. Any rights and privileges and duties and responsibilities that could be acquired, transfered, or acquiesced to under the former rules, must also be available through private contracts, which will have no name, but for which we'll probably want a standard sheet of paper, because everyone will want one.
2) Rename marriage (in the government context) to "civil union", allow any adult at or above the age of consent and not otherwise impaired to join.
3) Don't be an idiot, and do option (2), but under the name "marriage", and admit that just because it's called the same thing doesn't imply any other overlap. Religious marriage is religious. Government marriage is not.
Facebook ate more messages, it seems...
Phaedra: That's why I think it would be ideal to not allow churches to officially marry anyone, so that they are not forced to do so. This is how it is done in some countries. I don't mean not allowing a religious ceremony, but I really think those two things should be separate.
Phaedra: It seems you misunderstood what I was saying. I was not saying I didn't believe this to be a moral issue, but that I don't believe it is the role of government to prevent it.
Unordained: That's the danger when you don't compromise, don't find a common logical basis for laws -- if you're ever in the minority, you're screwed. You're afraid of the same thing happening to you that's happened to all other minorities over the centuries. I'm actually trying to protect you too, though you don't see it, by giving you your own sphere of personal space not to be intruded upon. But you can't have that if you won't grant it to others. There can't be a constitutional amendment "everyone must mind their own business" if Christians or anyone else is going to need an exemption from the get-go.