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Is there an actual purpose for marriage, and if there is not, why have it at all?

Until recently, it has been for a man to own a woman and guarantee the paternity of his children.

Getting past history, marriage is a commitment that may include children. A goal of more stable relationships is of value to society.

I have trouble understanding the emotional response against gay civil marriage. I don't see it as a threat to my marriage.

Religious organizations have every right to marry only those they approve. Not everyone qualifies for a religious marriage, even those of that religion. An in-law is a member of the clergy. It is part of the job to tell some couples that they aren't ready for marriage.
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