Why does that matter to me? I'm heterosexual and not even married. The religious right has declared that marriage is theirs to define, not mine to share with my LGBT friends if i want. They control it, they define it, and they don't want my friends to have it, and you know what, they probably don't like me much either.
Well fine, they've defined what marriage is, they've "protected' it from people who are different from them. Well i'm different from them, if not in the way they were originally thinking, and maybe if they want to keep marriage to themselves then i don't really want it.
The ones who are trying to sound more rational claim that they don't care if LGBT people get the same legal rights through civil unions or something like that, they just don't want then "sullying the holy institution of marriage" or some crap like that. Well fine. Let's make a legal alternative to marriage, open to anyone and discreet from any religious institution. And you know what? Let's make it possible for anyone who was married to switch over to this new legal status if they want, and let's require the two states to be tracked separately in the census and such, we wouldn't want to "sully" marriage by mixing the two together after all. And if some day far in the future there are more people under the legal contract than the religious contract i'm just going to laugh and laugh at how good a job the religious right did at "protecting" its "own" institution.
We need to come up with a better name than "civil union" though. Can you imagine the following conversation?
"Are you two married?"
"No, we're unionized."
The best i've come up with so far is "civil joining," but that still sounds a bit weird.