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.
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.
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.
Won’t work. Either you’d have to force the different major branches of Christianity to squabble over who gets to call theirs “marriage”, with all of the other relegated to finding a new name, or you’d have to grandfather in the term “marriage” to apply at a broader level than a single sect, which leaves you in pretty much the current situation.
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