I agree with everything in the previous post, written by The Caretaker, except for one thing. I'm not sure that the term 'marriage' can or should be applied to non-heterosexual partnerships. It seems to me that American society is fundamentally conservative on this issue, as measured by the fact that Connecticut and Massachusetts are the only states that currently recognize gay marriage. Indeed, many advanced industrial nations around the world do not recognize gay unions as 'marriages.'
I do support the idea of civil unions or domestic partnerships for gay/lesbian couples who wish to establish a long-term relationship, with many if not all of the legal rights of married couples. But whether the term 'marriage' should be reserved for hetersexual union is still an open one with me.