The word marriage began long ago and with the church. And in the bible it means the union between a man and a woman. It is written so in the bible. And although many have argued that it is open for interpretation, I will not argue this and will never do so again. I respect the church and each of their beliefs. I respect those who follow their religions and who have their own beliefs. And although I may believe and interpret differently, I am not trying to change anyone's beliefs, sway them or argue they should be different.
The word marriage like other words has evolved though with time.
What once was used solely for religious purposes when joining a man and a woman has now been adopted within our government to determine these rights
- Property ownership
- Medical Benefits
These above points have nothing to do with religion.
Same-sex couples who live together, pay taxes and are law abiding citizens would therefore like to have these rights as well and use this "word", or whatever word the government uses to mean this. This word just so happens to be "marriage". Had the government not adopted this word from the church and it was instead the word "Joint-ship" or "Union", then I believe there would not be such huge objections or uproar from so many (regarding laws).
But instead, because it is the word "marriage", people are arguing that gays are trying to change the views of the church and make them accept something that they do not. This is not the case. Gays simply want to not be treated differently and given a word to use from the government that is different than what the rest of society uses. By doing so, it is putting them in a different 'class' and feels like they are second class citizens (you can use the restroom, but only THAT one. Or you can drink from the fountain, but only THAT one).
So, I see two possibilities then…
1) What we should be fighting for is a separation of church and state and having a word that the government uses that is not religious. Something that ALL (heterosexual and homosexual) will then use. Then the word "marriage" would retain the definition that is chosen by the individual and church and moral values and government can remain separate.
2) The church and religious folks should realize that the word "marriage" has adopted a new meaning and usage throughout time and that it used by the government to allow for certain tax benefits, property ownership, inheritance rights, etc. Therefore, when gays want to be married, they just want the same rights and not be put in a different "class". It is not a way of making or forcing churches and people to believe and accept same-sex relationships, it is simply about non-discrimination and human rights.
Moral value arguments should be done outside of government. This has nothing to do with what one values or believes in.