The G-Word. Or the GM-words. Whatever.

I’ve been trying to boil my stance on gay marriage down to a few pithy paragraphs. Let’s see if I got it right.
The word “marriage” has two versions. There’s Marriage, the religious sacrament, and marriage, the legal act. Marriage (religious) is already available to gay people in some religions (heck, I was a flower girl for a gay wedding back in the day). The government has no right to alter whether a particular religion offers it.
Marriage (legal) is a civil rights issue, involving next-of-kin status, health insurance, inheritance, child custody, financial rights, and so on. It should be available to all couples dedicated to spending their lives together, regardless of gender, race, etc.
I think the real problem is that people say “marriage” (legal) and religious folks think of “Marriage” (religious). Plus, saying that gay people want to be married reminds homophobes that (a) gays exist and (b) gays want the same things they do, both of which are frightening.
My solution: the government needs to come up with a new name for marriage (legal), and make it available to all couples which have dedicated themselves to spending their lives together, regardless of gender. It’s a civil rights issue, not a religious one, and if you change the wording, maybe people will be less frightened.

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