If I understand the desires correctly of those who embrace the idea of gay marriage, there are a few basic needs they want met. They want some way to be recognized as a loving couple dedicated to each other, potentially with all the pomp and circumstance afforded to heterosexual couples when they marry. They also want legal recognition similar to what marriage brings to heterosexual couples, with the rights of survivorship, health care rights and coverage, the right to have children join their family and all other such rights.
If I understand the position of those who oppose gay marriage, while some have moral objections to homosexuality, the majority still are willing to afford homosexuals to exercise their right to live by whatever morals they may. The main thing they want to protect is what they deem the sanctity of the marriage institution, an institution they say was created by God as a way of joining a man and a woman into a sacred union where they fulfill His purposes for humankind
They fear that once marriage becomes defined as something other than between man and woman that it leaves the door open for future government interference in forcing churches to allow performance of gay marriages within their walls. Or, government may decide that any religious practices/doctrines that might be seen as an infringement of a married gay couple’s rights when compared to a married heterosexual couple’s rights should face potential legal action. You may scoff at that notion but every little loss of freedom has been precipitated by previous acts of government to infringe for the benefit of the greater good.
So, if I have outlined the arguments in their most basic form, is there any way to promote a compromise between the two? I offer as my opinion that there is. Why couldn’t there be a legal union for gays with a different term than marriage, something that would include all legal rights enjoyed by “married” heterosexual couples? Ceremonies could be performed with similar rites and traditions if desired. The name could even be chosen by the gay community should they wish.