Since there are a bunch of govt laws that exist that specifically address domestic unions, then the sex of the pariticpants in such a committed union, must have equality in those civil laws.
The whole problem with the issue is semantic ... the word marriage. Why is it so difficult to consider the overall concept of domestic unions with sub-categories? Marriage might describe a heterosexual union; civil union could describe same-sex unions.
I am still unsure, however, how I feel about adoption or surrogacy for same-sex couples. I cannot imagine that it is not difficult for a boy to not have a father/male role model; or a girl to have a mother/female role model. In the case of adoption, the couple could choose to adopt a child of their own sex, but in surrogacy to they get to choose the sex of the child as well? If gay youngsters have trouble in discussing their sexual orientation with heterosexual parents, would heterosexual children have the same difficulty in discussing the topic with gay parents? Do gay parents defend & promote their perspective as much as heterosexual parents do theirs?
If a gay person already has children from a previous marriage, there might be a chance that the child still has the perspectives of both sexes, rather than just one. My concern here is from the perspective of the children. It's tough enough growing up today without adding another complexity for the kids.
Gerry, the only item I'll disagree with is the, " I don't think the Constitution gets involved with how we are to resolve the issues that result from abiding by it. " Take Sharia Law for example; we the people are protected from many aspects of that belief. Hence, The Constitution pre-empts religious law. People have the Right to practice whatever religion they wish or not to practice any of them. But, when it comes to the Law, it in fact does trump religious laws. In the case of the photog, he was not asked to have sex with them, just take their wedding/civil union photos. Yet, I don't see how this law suit will hold up in a Court of Law against the photog.
I think that the Constitution would only trump Sharia law when Sharia would be counter to individual rights.
Part of the debate is whether "marriage" is a "right". A domestic union might be a right (because of legal benefits that are associated with heterosexual marriage) ... but is it a right to force someone else into participating in your religious ceremony?
If a Muslim wanted to have genital mutilation on his/her daughter, and chose to do this with a doctor, would the doctor be able to refuse to perform the ritual? Hospitals can refuse to do abortions, as long as they refer them to another service provider. Why does the photographer not have the same right?
I don't want to sound like I pretend to have the right answer. It's just a gut feeling. If I wanted a Jewish caterer to do my Christian wedding, and he refused, I can't imagine suing him/her. I find this discussion useful in parsing the principles involved.