The battle over whether gay people should have a legal right to marry is not over rights, or freedom, or equality; it's about legitimacy. There is nothing homosexuals seek more than to be seen in the same light as heterosexuals. That, in the end is what this entire debate is about.
For many years, the gay lobby sought entry into the military, purportedly because they wanted the "right" to serve their country. At the time, I was in the Air Force and postulated the theory that gay people merely wanted access to the chapels that would be forced to join this man and this ... um, man ... in holy matrimony.
Everybody who has ever served in the military knows that no base facility can be denied to a serving member of the armed forces, and it was my argument then that marriage was the vehicle homosexuals sought toward legitimacy.
After that attempt failed, the discussion and the tactics changed. Homosexuals then argued they didn't have the same freedoms as married couples and it was unjust that they couldn't provide for their partner's health. Without the ability to marry, gay couples were unable to defer benefits the way heterosexuals were and limited their freedom to decide where their money went.
Bowing to pressure, some companies soon made it permissible for workers to extend their benefits to whomever he or she chose, regardless of relationship. After all, if heterosexuals could extend their benefits to a common-law wife or husband then gays and lesbians should as well, as long as the deductible and premium were paid.
This served to solidify a homosexual partner's future, but did little to legitimize the relationship. While many gay people were thankful for this significant step forward in gay rights, it didn't have the exclamation point they...