Marriage. It's a lifetime commitment between a man and woman. Or at least that's how it's always been defined through history. Some people believe it is an eternal commitment. Lots of people don't even make it through one year, much less a lifetime.
It's a Legal Contract. It can also be a Religious Rite. It is a Societal Norm.
While I recognize that language is fluid, I don't think we ought to go around making new definitions of long established words and legal terms which would turn courts and common law upside down. Marriage, spouse, husband, wife.
But homosexuals insist they have the "right to marry" another person of the same sex, establish a family, have legal rights of a spouse.
I have religious and moral beliefs that include homosexual acts as being sinful and against nature. However, I am not a homosexual. I don't think it my place to deny a homosexual their own pursuit of happiness. But I do object to the word "marriage" being applied to their relationships.
So I propose a new term for same sex civil union. A Legal Contract with rights of inheritance, partnership, family interdependency.
Pairrage. Maybe with one "r". Pairage. Which one looks better? Which one follows linguistic rules better?
Pairage would be a lifetime commitment between two people, whether they both be man or woman. Or a man and a woman who might prefer to this name for their union (because it is an "equal" partnership and it would be ideal for those who would not want to consider themselves as wives who are "subservient" to their husbands.)
It would involve a legal license obtained at the courthouse. It would involve a civil or religious ceremony presided over by one in authority (or in Colorado, between the two and duly registered.) It could only be ended by death or dissolution/divorce. It would follow the same rights of property ownership and inheritance as marriage. In pairage, there would be two equal partners, without gender identification. "My Partner." Partner One and Partner Two on joint legal forms. States that recognize common-law marriages, would recognize common-law pairages. But it might not be between a man and a woman, so it's not a marriage, it's a Pairage.
It would allow lifetime commitment with legal rights, without compromising the historical definition of the word "marriage".
It would simplify things greatly.