I am, obviously, taking a risk in posting my thoughts on the subject of gay marriage. And I’m saying right now that these are my thoughts on gay marriage, not on homosexuality. And by “marriage,” I mean “the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.” <dictionary.com>, focusing on the aspect of legal commitments. Regardless of how I feel on the morality of homosexuality, the issue is whether the government should mandate said morality. I think it should not.
Steve and I are married. Aside from the religious aspects of that union, we get benefits like filing taxes together. Being arbiters of each others’ estates should something happen to one of us. It means if I get in a car accident and end up in the hospital, Steve gets to see me, know my medical information and status, etc. It means if he leaves me, I get to legally dispute things like his responsibility to finish out our lease. I believe that any two adults who want to enter into such a legal arrangement should have that right.
And in the interest of equal rights, any pastor should retain the right to refuse to preside over such a union, because the government also cannot mandate that religious institutions should find such a union morally acceptable.