Let's start with full disclosure: my husband and I are about the only married couple left of the friends of our young "adulthood", despite being indisputably the couple that our friends would all have voted Most Likely To Divorce Or Kill Each Other. While the divorces of all of our heterosexual friends have made us feel a bit nervous and lonely at times, we do not feel that the prospect of gay marriage threatens the sanctity of our marriage at all. Bring on the gay marriages, we say! Maybe gay people will be better at love and commitment in the context of legal marriages than straight people have been. Probably not, but they certainly couldn't be any worse at it, could they? I support gay marriage.
That said, our culture does seem to be rather contentious on the issue. Most Americans seem to be in favor of civil unions for gay couples, but many still seem nervous about letting these unions be called "marriages". Many (straight and somewhat bigoted) Americans seem to think civil unions should be enough and that fighting for actual "marriages" is going too far, not to mention being largely semantic in a legal sense. Many (straight and somewhat bigoted) Americans seem to think that gay marriage is against their religious beliefs, as well. Personally, I would never belong to any church that would deny someone their civil rights - I am a Christian, you see, and Jesus was not about bigotry. Also, I think people who want gay people to have a second-tier option are bigoted indeed. Nonetheless, the fact remains that everyone - even bigots - have a right to religious freedom just as everyone, including gay people, have the right to equal treatment under the law.
Here is my solution: no legal marriages - gay or straight.
People need to be treated equally under the law and the law should not be influenced by the religious opinions of one group over another. So, to avoid this religious entanglement, let us get the government out of the business of marriage entirely. The government can issue civil unions which should be the same for gay and straight couples alike. That way, the government is not discriminating and is treating everyone equally under the law. You go to the courthouse and get a civil union license, not a marriage license, and that civil union is the legal relationship.
Marriage can be the business of individual churches. If a couple wants marriage as a sacrament or religious rite, they can apply to the church of their choice. Some churches will grant marriage to gay and straight couples, some only to straight couples - heck, some might decide that only gay couples are fit to marry before God. That becomes the business of churches, not the government, and no church has to sanctify any marriage that does not fit with its own dogma.
Personally, I think this is a perfect solution and am very proud of myself for thinking of it (somebody write a Bill!). What do you think?