There has, for many years, been a heated debate over Gay Marriage. California's anti-marriage "proposition 8" has recently turned up the heat on the issue.
The supporters of "prop 8" insist that marriage is for the rearing and protection of children. While this may have been a factor in promoting marriage it is hardly the only reason for getting married. Many people beyond childbearing age or otherwise unable to have children are allowed to marry. Many same sex couples raise families.
Some say states that wish can give same sex couples "civil unions" and that should be good enough. It is not good enough under our current system. Only marriage gives the rights to federal tax, social security and other benefits. These however are "civil rights" granted by the government. If marriage is a religious right, the government has no business sanctioning it and giving benefits exclusively to those engaged in a religious rite.
Let's get government out of the marriage business and have them grant only "civil unions". If couples want to get married in a religious ceremony they can do that.
This is a civil rights issue, government should give the same benifits to all couples or to no couples.