Gay marriage - and you!

We've all heard of proposition 8 in California...the ban on gay marriage. It was a dark, bloody political battle that ended in tears, anger, but also joy and a feeling of sanctity for those that won. Let me say that I do not support prop 8. Not because of the rule itself so much as it being a constitutional amendment, not a law. The very document that lists the rights of the residents of the state of California was amended to tell a specific subset of people that they cannot partake in a religious ceremony that binds them for life.

I don't support state-sanctioned gay marriage. Not in any way shape or form. I don't think the state (political state, not geographic state) has the right to marry two men or two women. Neither does it have the right to marry a straight couple though. Marriage, although deeply ingrained in our society, is a religious ceremony. It's a dance two people do to signify their unending commitment.

The state has absolutely no business supporting this ritual. I believe separation of church and state has been defiled by the state taking it upon itself to say who can marry and who cannot. Is that not up to the specific religion the couple in question are marrying under? What moral right does the state have to support a religious ritual and then only for a specific set of people?

I believe the state has overstepped its bounds. I believe the state, as it already does, should allow civil unions between partners, giving them the applicable tax breaks they would receive as a married couple, but not marry people. Marriage is a religious institution and as such should be completely unrecognized by the state.

Note that this would solve all conflicts surrounding marriage. Two gay men can get married at the devil-worshiping, blood-drinking, child-molesting church down the street, and Mr. Conservative who goes to the bread-eating, jesus-praising, child-molesting church up the street doesn't have to recognize the two gay men's marriage. It didn't happen at his church or under his rules, so in his mind, the marriage can be null and void... but the state gives the two gay men their civil union, and then politely bows out of the conflict, letting the upstanding Christian and the society-destroying gays fight it out between themselves.

Everyone wins, and the state can wash its hands clean of all moral conflict surrounding a religous institution.