I've been tempted to post two bits on this, but couldn't decide between them.
So I won't.
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Marriage is a Contract
Marriage (as determined by the government) is entirely a civil matter, having only coincidental relationship to any religous or emotional relationship.
And, in fact, it can't be.
So hang-ups about "they can't tell me what marriage is" are entirely misplaced when dealing with the judicial or legislative question of
marriage -- that's right, they can't. In fact, in terms of what -you- consider a valid maritial (or otherwise) relationship, you're on your own.
But by the law, "married" people don't have to do anything people associate with marriage -- all they have to do is be willing to combine their economic and familial means in the way that marriage allows them to do.
And this has nothing to do with sex. Of either type.
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(Civil) Marriage is a dead horse [which should be cut into parts so its useful bits can be salvaged]
"Marriage" should not be a matter for government at all -- it's just too much a religious issue. What should be a government matter is allowing people to declare one another as (closest, or not) kin, and to combine resources to make a firm financial partnership, get collective medical insurance, etc -- anything else is just not the government's buisness.
No, the government of Massachusets, and certainly not the court, should not be telling us what marriage is. Nor should any government; it's just not their job.
So kill civil marraige -- it's long outlived its usefulness, and it's got way too much baggage tied up in the concept; at this point, it's just a source for strife. Instead, handle the legal issues currently dealt with by marriage (those that don't equate to prostitution, that is) by making specific provisons that people can use in contractual agreements, creating the -financial-, and -legal- instution that's currently handled by the civil instution of marriage.
Beyond that? You call a marriage what you want to, and I'll call a marriage what I want to -- the government has no business in our bedrooms, our places of worship, -or- in our dictionaries!