|Despite the fact that, particularly in current times, marriages do not always last, the real point of marriage, as I see it, is a statement (or celebration of intent) of making a permanent commitment. Such a statement is reflects a strong personal passion, and this is why using the term 'marriage' is important to many gays, and why more simply expressed 'civil union' is not held as highly.|
Nevertheless, at least in the eyes of government, I do not see where marriages or civil unions should be considered anything other than the same. The government should only be responsible for recognizing the legal status of a joined couple. The semantics are of no legal importance, and governments should not attempt to make any differentiation between the two. It is still a marital union, and should be so recognized.
That differentiation belongs to the narrow minded, and the various churches which would condemn such unions. They are entitled to their views, but have no moral superiority or moral right to interfere with the marital union of any two people who wish to make a lasting commitment to one another. The churches, and their adherents do not have to honor the marital commitments of gay couples, but the government certainly must honor and protect these couples marital rights.