Our family visited the "Vote NO" booth at the MN State Fair in August and spoke with a self identified attorney volunteering for the cause. I asked him what the logical outcome of what constitutes 'marriage' will be if they are successful in redefining the meaning of marriage. He said that concern was a "separate issue."
So, I asked him if marriage is indeed a 'right', then how can he deny that 'right' to others who desire polygamous, polyamorous, even incestuous relationships as deeply as people of the same sex? Again, he said it was a "separate issue."
It isn't a separate issue, because it reveals the uncomfortable truth that if marriage is regarded as merely a 'right' and not an historical institution defined by God, understood and recognized as the union of one man and one woman, then anything can qualify. Anything.
Since he was an attorney, I also asked since many companies now provide domestic partner benefits, what other marriage 'benefits' were unavailable to committed same-sex couples that someone like him couldn't remedy with legal paperwork? He didn't name any.
Society does not prevent same sex or opposite sex couples from cohabitating or forming long term commitments to each other. They can and they will continue having the freedom to do so. However, society (as well as the courts) are not free to call those unions marriages when they are not.
And marriage is not a civil right. People with same sex attraction have the same enumerated rights as every other American and they are protected by our Constitution.
I'm happy to report our conversation with this man was spirited yet very respectful. We thanked him for not calling us haters, bigots or homophobes and he seemed sincerely sor ry that so many on his side prefer to shout down or silence the opposition rather than discuss the issue. (Evidently, those who keep stealing the Vote YES to Marriage signs in Eden Prairie, don't share his tolerance or respectfulnes!)
Marriage is a unique institution that stands alone as a union of one man and one woman, and our government has a compelling interest to protect it.