Government involvement in licensing marriage, and related matters such as inheritance and rights to make medical decisions, is the problem. In my view, the best way to deal with this is to return marriage and related matters entirely to the private sector. Otherwise, if the gays win on the same-sex marraige issue, there would be no legal foundation on which to bar polygamy, adult-child relationships, and the like.
Civil society has a strong interest in protecting marriage and the family. Children, and all future generations benefit by honoring the marriage union. Society benefitted by stable marriages because stable children were created. Business was encouraged provide health care for the family because what was good for the family was good for them. Homosexual "couples" bring no benefit to society. It seems that their primary goal to the benefits society has long agreed should go to the family.
Sadly, we have been losing ground on this issue for years. The marriage and divorce laws were loosened making it more likely that children would be raised by one parent. The 35 year experiment of easier divorces have proven that children aren't better off (see Whitehead article on Divorce). Marriage has taken a beating and pronouncements today on the sanctity of marriage falls on a large number of deaf ears.
Couple the increase in divorce with the increased number of children born out of wedlock and the problem is so great as to make it virtually impossible to "get the genie back into the bottle."
Let's hope that the tide can and will turn. Pray that 2004 will bring a backlash as the "silent majority" vote and give Republicans an even larger majority in both houses. We've seen the clout a very small segment of society can have, able to sway courts and Democratic leaders to supports their causes. We must believe that the majority (though slim) can work to set these things right.
Also, let's hope these judges can be reached to rethink their decision. If not, they can be impeached.