I don’t think you’re overlooking a down side from a legal standpoint. Now, if you believe homosexuality is a sin and that it’s the government’s duty to discourage all sin, then you’d think differently. I think we are on the page on all that, though, so I’ll move on.
The thing that’s interesting to me is that your position is very close to so many others, but it turns into a big hullaballoo just because you’re okay with using the word marriage and others aren’t.
We already have the infrastructure to handle parties of two.
I think this argument is a little weak – unless you’re willing to give up (or at least severely water down) all of the “freedom” and “right” stuff.
I don’t have any objections to numbers greater than two.
I think the term “marriage” should either apply to all of them or none of them. I don’t think it’s acceptable for the law to recognize “marriage” between heterosexual couples and “something else” for others.
I think it would be acceptable for the government to stop calling all of them “marriages”, and only offer “civil unions” or whatever, but the same term should apply to all, precisely because the intent is that they are equivalent. Using separate language is just an invitation to future inequality.
I think that the best way to resolve this issue would be for the government to recognise only civil unions. Churches could then apply their form of marriage after the civil union, limit access to it with any rules they like, and call it any name that pleases them. I think it would be useful to provide for these names to be registered like company names so that no other group can use them.
Gay unions might be in the rules for some curches and excluded by others and gays could register their own name and adimit straits if they want to.
I think that there does need to be at least two people involved, or some wanker will want to marry his right hand. The government might choose to limit Civil unions to two people for reasons to do with the law and entitlements.
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