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there is no comparison with interracial marriage. To claim so is to throw out an emotional red-herring. Here's the difference: Marriage is a union between a man and woman. It has been for 1,000's of years. Not allowing a black man to marry a white woman WAS discrimination. But A man marrying a man? A woman marrying a woman? This isn't marriage!

I respectfully disagree with your disclaimer that this is not a civil rights issue and there should be no comparison between this issue and the issue of interracial marriage. The opponents against interracial marriage used EXACTLY the same logic those against same-sex marriages are using that marriage was only sacred and legit if it was WITHIN THE SAME RACE. The argument you put forth in support of marriage used to be "marriage is a union between a man and woman of the same race" it got its legitimacy from the support of the supposed moral majority. To those supporters, this was not seen as a "civil rights issue" either, until others MADE IT A CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE. And this is about civil rights, because married couples do enjoy certain civil rights and obligations that those who are not married can not enjoy, including but not limited to the legal legitimization of their union which is recognized in a court of law--the very insitution of marriage itself.

The definition of marriage has taken and will continue to take many different forms depending on the culture and the will of the moral majority. In some cultures, marriage is defined as a union between a man and more than one woman, or multipul men and women, or men and women who in this country would be considered minor/incompetent to be married without the consent of their parent or legal guardian.

If we are talking about the legal iterations of marriage in American history and culture, this has changed significantly as well, including ut not limited to the once legally outlawed and institutionally sanctioned ban on interracial marriages based on the sole reason that it was not natural and didn't fit within the definition of "marriage" as it applied to the "moral values" of that time.

In short, just because you say it isn't about "civil rights" doesn't make that statement true. And it looks like the courts in Massachusetts and a number of other states disagree with you as well.
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