Bride. Groom. Husband. Wife. Father. Mother.
These are the sort of words that will be eradicated from a society that chooses to create laws which allow same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses.
The two posts below this one talk about gay marriage: whether it's too late for America to prevent it, and whether a coherent secular argument against it can be made.
In this post, the last on the topic for at least a while, I'd like to discuss the real agenda of the gay rights movement in regard to marriage.
Gay rights activists are completely aware of the fact that what they are asking for isn't really marriage according to any law that has ever existed before the present era. As I mention below, the State is only interested in marriage because it realizes that society has an interest in promoting the best, most stable, and most nurturing of environments for its infant citizens; and the State is well aware that this environment exists more fully in marriage than in any other social arrangement.
Gay rights activists know this, too. Though they speak loudly about "gay couples and their children" they are well aware of the fact that the children of a gay couple aren't 'theirs' in the same way that the children of a heterosexual couple are: that is, they aren't the natural and expected result of the relationship. Gay activists may try to muddy the waters by referring to adoption, but even in that instance there's a fundamental difference: a heterosexual couple's children aren't presumed to be adopted, even if the reality is that the children are adopted. No gay couple can be presumed to be other than adoptive parents, since at least one of them must be.
And gay rights activists know, too, that all of the 'rights' of marriage which they seek are available to them without marriage. Wills, powers of attorney (including for health care), tax sheltering arrangements such as trusts, and the like exist which may, in fact, put the average gay couple on a better footing than the married couple who doesn't realize that absent a will the presumption of inheritance may vary quite a lot from state to state.
Moreover, gay rights activists know how few gay couples there actually are: in the 2000 U.S. Census, approximately 600,000 gay couples were counted. Gay activists say this is due to undercounting, that gay couples don't want to be identified by the government, and so on, but even if you inflate that number it doesn't come close to the number of heterosexual married couples in the United States. In fact, according to this article from the Seattle Times, "(e)stimates based on the census data put the number of gays in America somewhere between 4 million and 6 million people, or between 2 and 3 percent of the U.S. adult population." So if there are 6 million gay people in the United States, and only six hundred thousand willing to identify themselves as couples, there isn't really a whole lot of grassroots demand for gay marriage even among the gay community itself.
So what, exactly, is all of this about?
The real agenda of the gay marriage activists is to destroy forever society's presumption that heterosexuality and heterosexual relationships are normative and foundational. The answer to their often-asked question, "Who does it hurt if we let gays marry each other?" is, "All of us."
Religious groups who consider homosexual behavior sinful will be the first to suffer, as we can see from the saga of Catholic Charities' adoption services and the state of Massachusetts. Once gay marriage is legal in all fifty states, it will be a violation of federal anti-discrimination laws to treat homosexual couples any differently than heterosexual ones, no matter what deeply held religious beliefs to the contrary you may have. The Boy Scouts of America will have to allow homosexual scout leaders, or cease to exist, in all probability. Christian schools will have to hire homosexual teachers or face lawsuits. The belief that homosexual behavior is sinful will be viewed with even more hostility than it is today, and some of that hostility will come from the federal government.
Free speech will suffer next. Holidays like "Mother's Day" and "Father's Day" will have to be renamed, if homosexual couples complain about the underlying assumption that children have one of each. Children's textbooks at the elementary level will show photographs and stories of families where the 'parents' are the same gender. Any complaint that young children shouldn't be exposed to homosexuality will be viewed as bigotry. New words will be coined to replace such terms as 'bride' and 'groom.' Statements to the effect that one is uncomfortable with the homosexual lifestyle will be classed as 'hate speech.'
In time, it will become apparent that the real agenda of the gay activists is to force America, particularly Red State America, to accept homosexual couples as not only the equivalent of, but even superior to, heterosexual couples. Society will be forbidden to have any preference for the latter, even if in actual fact the widespread acceptance of homosexual marriage has deleterious effects on society at large, as can be demonstrated in some European countries that have already legalized homosexual marriage. The breakdown of the family that often follows the legalization of gay marriage will be an accepted collateral damage, the price we should all be willing to pay for insisting that a type of relationship which is fundamentally different from marriage is, in fact, equal to it.