I'm interrupting your daily (or near daily) dose of photographic art with my opinion.
Warning: you will probably form an opinion and get pissed off if you continue reading.
but you are allowed the posting of your opinion in the comments, so it's fair.
I'm sick of the whole argument over gay marriage and civil unions. Bored with it. It's absolutely stupid to argue the point. Because at the heart of it, only the rights allowed couples are really all that matter. So here's my opinion:
Personally, I don't care if one wants to make his/her roommate, brother, sister, next door neighbor, boss, cat, or goldfish his beneficiary of his estate with the same rights as a spouse... I think that it should be allowed legally outside of a marriage contract. Right of survivorship, contractual obligations and purchases (homes, cars, life insurance...), personal wealth and assets... I personally think everyone should be able to make decisions and enter into such agreements as these without legaleze such as "marriage" or "civil union".
Personally, I think the whole terminology vs. rights is a bunch of bull, no matter if it's gay rights, hetero rights, marriage rights, or the like.
Traditionally, legal contracts required legal unions because legal unions were considered binding. Well, it's fairly easy to get a divorce these days, so the idea that a married couple will continue to be married for the duration of a 60 month car loan is almost a fairy tale in an age where the divorce rate is over 50%, so those antiquated notions of "shared responsibility" and "lasting committed relationship" don't really mean anything to a lending institution when it comes to the bottom line.
Two non-sexual (or sexually intimate), non-related people should be able to buy a home together, purchase a car together, share health insurance plans (through an employer), establish net worth together (wealth), combine money, etc... but there are a lot of limitations for how two non-related people combine their estates/wealth/assets/ etc.
And here the problem gets really stupid. The laws are set up, so that -- for example -- credit card companies can only go after the account holder, not others able to sign on the account. So say a husband never adds his wife to an account, then she cannot be held accountable for the charges on it. (I learned this the hard way with my ex when I didn't put him on my account but allowed him to sign on it.) Really, this is an easy fix. Make any and all users on an account equally responsible for it. There don't need to be any "civil union" laws to that end.
And on that note, such simple fixes could be (and should be) applied to health insurance policies, contract purchases, etc... and the entire fight over whether a gay marriage will be ceremoniously recognized will become closer to moot.
Now on the note about religious recognition. No, we as a society should not change nor try to change Christianity or any other religion to force it to accept gay marriage. And here's why:
(If you are offended by specific citations as evidence, quit reading now, because I'm going to cite the Bible as evidence... seeing as how the Bible is the book by which Christianity is founded and referenced)
"You [God to Moses, giving him the basis of Jewish law] are not to go to bed with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination."
According to the most basic and strictest sense of Judaism/Christianity, homosexuality is an abomination. That is the belief of those religions, and by freedom of religion, practitioners are free to believe such.
Forcing change upon those religions is a direct infringement on that freedom of religion. Not to mention it's no better or different than forcing non-religious types to participate in prayer in public.
So I don't think changing someone's right to believe in their own religion is the answer.
Now for those that uphold the "homosexuality as abomination" religious viewpoint:
(warning, another biblical quote)
The same God that condemns homosexuality in Leviticus says in
"Therefore let us not judge one another..."
Christians should not take it upon themselves to force the rest of the known world against homosexuality simply because they believe it to be wrong. According to Jewish law, it is, for them, but not everyone is striving to be held accountable to Jewish law.
So my steadfast opinion is thus:
Claim as your significant other whomever you want to, with whatever phrases best suits your needs. Get religion out of the legalizing of rights with regards to any/all relationships, because we've already separated church and state as a nation anyway. And quit trying to make it a religious issue.
Who you partner yourself with is not a matter of the church. And the STATE should be held more accountable for allowing rights between conjoined peoples that are not traditionally nor heterosexually married.
And just about everyone should get over themselves. It'd be a lot simpler if we would simply deal with the issue of rights and leave everything else where it belongs -- in personal opinion.