With the direction this thread has taken, it now seems inappropriate for me to be too serious -- but I wanted to say something to Jeanine before, and if I don't say it now, it won't get said. Besides, I didn't know what Speedos were until I figured it out from your various posts.
Jeanine, you wrote: "I find it strange that Objectivists, who idealize binding love more than I, and would not shrink from registering patents or incorporating business because of any resulting legal privileges and entanglements, should not be very understanding of the position of those not allowed legal recognition not of business, but of romantic love."
I profoundly agree with you. I don't think that the definition of a word -- in this case, "marriage" -- should stop us from righting a wrong. Besides, many gay couples are now bringing up children, children they adopted or that one of them parented; surely they should have the rights of other parents.
I don't agree with Orion that marriage is necessarily a disaster. I am very familiar with some extremely happy marriages, including marriages that have lasted more than forty years. And I can understand the feelings of those homosexuals who want a public commitment to each other. If civil unions are seen as the answer to this -- and perhaps they will be -- the legal and political meaning of such unions should be defined in ways that give the partners the rights of married people.