The union of two people creates a relationship that previously did not exist. But, what kind of relationship is it? A heterosexual relationship and a homosexual relationship are not the same thing. Otherwise, we would not need to place “hetero” or “homo” before “sexual” in order to distinguish the two different types. Of all the types of human relationships that exist, the heterosexual relationship stands apart (irrespective of race) because it is a union of counterparts.
Even in cases where the relationship does not produce children, it retains its unique standing because it is a relationship between counterparts, not same parts (again, irrespective of race). A sterile woman does not become a man. A sterile man does not become a woman. Males and females are always counterparts that create a unique relationship. For example, an arranged, homosexual marriage would never make sense in any culture. This is not to validate the practice of arranged marriages, but to illustrate the fact that matching the counterparts is an intuitive aspect of marriage.
I believe it would be dishonest for a government to issue any license that strips the identity away from one entity and assigns it to other entities that are essentially different. For example, the government does not issue motorcycle licenses to cars or dog licenses to cats. Though the types of vehicles and animals have many similarities, they also have essential differences.
On a more human level, men and women deserve equal, civil rights. Yet, it would be dishonest for a government to say that all people will now be referred to as “men,” thereby robbing women of their unique identities. The push for inclusive language suggests that words such as “he,” “man,” “men,” or “his,” should not be used when referring to all human beings. Many inclusive language advocates insist that God should be called “Creator” rather than “Father.” Nevertheless, men and women still want to be called “men” and “women” respectively when it comes to their personal identities. Women generally want to be considered equal to men, but they generally don’t want to be men or be personally called “a man.” Likewise, few men want to be personally referred to as “she” or “a woman.” Men and women have many similarities, but they also have essential differences.
Inclusive language only goes so far because people instinctively understand and desire the natural differences between men and women. It seems to me that only a few extremists genuinely want to completely eradicate all differences and create a completely androgynous society. There is always a tension between “honoring our differences” and “liberty and justice for all.” We want to be “unique” and “the same” simultaneously. This produces a societal identity crisis. People in crisis can be reactionary and irrational and the government is no exception. The government is people, after all.
I submit that, when a government issues the exact same license to heterosexual and homosexual couples and calls it “marriage,” it is committing a type of identity theft. It removes any and all distinctions regarding the unique identity of each type of relationship. It hijacks the word “marriage” away from the distinct, heterosexual identity and assigns it to homosexual identity thereby declaring both unique identities to be identical. It is dishonest and unfair to both types of relationships. Such a law is oppressive to everyone, since it forces all of us to be accessories to a type of identity theft.
The government would be more consistent and honest if it issued “committed relationship licenses” and designated on the license each relationship type. Heterosexual unions could rightfully retain the descriptor and identity of “marriage” while other types of unions could have different descriptors.
Many people want to reference the struggle for interracial marriage when considering this issue. Race can be mixed and matched anyway we please. However, male and female can only be paired one way as natural counterparts. Therefore, the interracial, civil rights struggle, as noble as it is, is a false comparison (aka apples and oranges). “Liberty and justice for all” does not mean that all civil liberty issues are “the same.” Skin pigment is simply not an essential difference. Indeed, many argue scientifically that “race” is genetically non-existent, a myth. One cannot make the same claim regarding male and female distinctions.
Religious liberty issues certainly need to be considered regarding gay marriage. However, I believe that governmental identity theft is also an issue worth pondering. Laws need to be honest in order for love to truly win for everyone.