The gov't can do a lot of things, but it can't change the dictionary. Words mean things and at no time has marriage ever meant anything other than what it means.
It was clear over five or six thousand words, that the definition of marriage was the most important thing to you. Despite my repeated attempts to bring the discussion to rights - an area of conservative discussion - it kept coming back to this idea that the definition of marriage was historical, biological, sociological and psychologically ingrained in our makeup.
No amount of logic is capable of swaying what 150,000 years has set into genetic stone.
In the mythical universe where I am the benevolent dictator (I know, God Forbid!) I really do think you would be pretty comfortable. If your partner died, you would inherit all custody rights, no one would cut off your retirement benefits from your partner if present. No one would take your kid away from you. No one would object to any special ceremony you would wish to perform, and there would probably be some simple way or form of legal paperwork that would allow you to live your life as you please and no one would threaten, fundamentally, your way of life. I would pretty much insist on it.
What would you call this benevolent offering of rights and priviledges?
I have stated, repeatedly, that I don't care about 'marriage'. I have been having several long chats on here about this issue - people can review them by reading the archived chat logs - and I have acknowledge there, and do here, that a significant MAJORITY of the left and some few on the right, are equally stuck on the 'marriage' issue. The left does, as you say, want you, you specifically Travis(!), and everyone else to proclaim "I now pronounce you ...whatever..." which I think is just a monumental waste of time and effort. First, there will be people on the lunatic, fringe, way out of their mind right that will SHOOT people coming out of a church. Their cousin on the fathers side never removed, will BLOW up the damn church. Now, just because some nutjobs will be criminals is not a reason do do something, it does however suggest a certain level of ingrained, social, biological inability to change that will always be with us.
You also said:
I am not against state's streamlining contract law, or procedures to make sure that visitation rights, rights of inheritance, or custody, etc. are honored, as in ANY contract, between ANY two people, gay or straight. I trust Federalism and the laboratory of the states, and the democratically elected legislatures (not the Judiciary or the Fed. Gov't) to work out the wheres and whys and hows.
Today, government licenses all couples that want to wed. A couple can go into a church and wed without that license and while the Church will recognize the marriage, the state will not. A couple can, once licensed, have a judge or justice wed them pretty much on the spot. The state will recognize the marriage, the Church will not.
With one exception, all the issues of divorce are handled legally, drawing from the 'contract' that the 'wedding' implied. The exception is adultery. Unless you get the Church to relieve you of your marital obligations, a legal divorce does not. Churches are different, and I don't want to get into the dogmatic issues there.
We are slowing getting to my point:
WHO, may I ask, is restraining your freedom?
There is a context to this comment that I have omitted, not to (hopefully) take you out of context, but to reduce the 10 paragraphs that preceded it when I don't think it will be necessary. That said, I linked it back to the original in case anyone wants to check.
I do think Gay marriage is wrong. I do not think it would be the end of the world as I know it. There simply aren't enough gays to matter frankly. That, and I trust in the family to survive any assault. We are already rebounding from the ruinous experiments of the sexual revolution. We can weather this too.
The comment I quoted 'out of context' and this one lead me a particular direction.
It led you there too:
It does not bother or diminish my marriage in any way because your relationship does not meet the requirements of marriage in any significant way. It is undoubtedly beneficial to you personally, but it does not provide anything like the same dynamic that my relationship does. And the evidence is that most gays are even less familial oriented than your partner and yourself.
The last line first. It is absolutely true. I don't understand, well, yes I do: it is not a bond of love as you have for your wife. This will sound WRONG to everyone but yours is not a bond of equals. You would be 1/2 the man you are, if you were not married. Your wife would be 1/2 the woman she is likewise. The joining of the two halves results in a sum greater than one. I know you UNDERSTAND this intrinsically because you are part of it. Gay relationships - the vast majority of them are the sum of their parts to one. The only gay relationships I have seen survive long term involves, very clearly, a pairing of unequals. Then, it works long term. Because most gay relationships fundamentally are based on a pairing of equals...now I will get shot at by both sides...
But the rest: our legal relationship will not diminish your marriage. Even if it were to be called marriage, it would not. First, as you say, we are too few. Second, if it did, your marriage would be a sham and it probably wouldn't deserve to survive. If the pairing is that dependent on outside comparisons that have zero to do with the couple, it is a dead relationship anyway. But it is not necessary to call our legal relationship marriage. Despite the loons that are stuck on the concept, it IS irrelevant to the fundamental goal - equal benefits under the law.
And you have already stated both your personal and fundamental support of those rights. Now all you have to do is give it a name you can live with.
We simply refuse to let you redefine the terms to suit your purposes.
You pick the term....
From a conversation on American Conservative Party