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Apple and Oranges, my friend. Yes, we are all endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, but nowhere in that document is the right to marry. Marriage is not a right, it's a legal contract granted by the state. It's much like driving, in that no one has the right to drive, but we can have the privilege of driving if we meet certain criteria set forth by the state.

If, as you postulate here, marriage is the right to marry who you love, then why is bigamy illegal? Or are you planning a dissertation in defense of Joseph Smith next?

The problems that homosexuals have is with the term. Most states are granting civil unions now, which for all intents and purposes provide all the same benefits as marriage. But that's not good enough, they have to have the word "marriage" in there.

Well, in this case the majority does rule, as marriage isn't something governed by the U.S. Constitution. And the majority of citizens, when given the opportunity to vote on it, vote no on gay marriage. They went so far as to pass a constitutional amendment in California stating such. The Prop 8 protesters are trying to sue to have the amendment declared unconstitutional, which I find baffling seeing as how it was voted to become part of the constitution.

My personal opinion is they can shack up with whomever they want to shack up with. But protesting in the street and trying to compare their "struggle" with the civil rights movement is a travesty and should be called such.

But then again, I'm just one of those crazy right wingers.

First of all, "most states have civil unions" is correct if you consider seven states and the District of Columbia to be "most states." So your argument that the disagreement is over terminology is factually wrong. Gays are discriminated against in most states.

Second of all, marriage is not the Constitutional right in question. The right in question is equal protection under the law. If I get to make a legal commitment that gives me a tax break, that guarantees with the force of law that my spouse will be the one to make medical decisions for me if I'm incapacitated, then everyone else who chooses to make the same commitment should have the same rights and responsibilities.

I'd like you to demonstrate to me that there is a single place in the U.S. where marriage is treated as anything but a right. Show me a state where marriage between consenting adults can be denied for any reason but gender. When I got married I didn't have to get anyone's approval, and no one could object and stop me from getting married. Had anyone tried to, I would have dealt with it as if they had attempted to violate any other fundamental right. My bet is you would, too.

So you can say marriage isn't a right, but in fact it is treated as a right everywhere.

Finally, whether gay rights are the equivalent of civil rights would seem to be entirely a matter of your perception of homosexuality. Race is not a choice, so one shouldn't be discriminated against because of their race. If you believe, as most conservatives apparently do, that sexuality is a choice -- not for them personally, but for people they disapprove of -- then gay rights are not the equivalent of civil rights. If you believe, as most scientists do, that sexuality is complicated set of genetic and behavioral traits that aren't a personal choice -- that people are, in effect, gay before there's a choice to be made -- then the entire logical argument for continued discrimination disappears.

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