I have to agree with Sammie. I think a "Marriage" is between one man and one woman. I do not have a problem with Gay people having a union and they can call it anything they want. I agree Gays should have equal access to making decisions, retirement benefits and a long list of things that a Married couple can do and not Gay's. I am highly offended that I am asked to compromise my Christian beliefs and forced to call it a marriage and want it done in a Church. Sorry there is no compromise here, just as there is no compromise in Gods word. Before you start bashing Christians, many Muslim countries still kill or otherwise harm Gays and they have no rights or recognition.
So out of all the thousands of words in the English language, find a description that suites your group, heck invent a term. And I promise that as a heterosexual I will not try to impose myself, and push their beliefs back. And I believe most Americans would would accept such an arrangement.
Put simply, why must I change my beliefs, customs, and religion, choose your own path, if you do not like my path... keep off!!!!
gentlemen, please note that I never said to call it a "marriage" either - and I haven't heard that from any of the gay populace that I know, either through church or through professional lines. The biggest concerns have been about protecting assets and rights (as in making life/death decisions instead of someone they may not have seen for many years like a sibling and legal permission to be by the deathbed, etc). I understand, believe me, I completely understand that there are some denominations and religions in this world that are completely anti-gay in any shape or form....but there's also a handful that are more welcoming or understanding as well. I would never wish to affront someone regarding their religously held beliefs in such a manner. In my mind there's a difference between what the church teaches and what needs to be legislated. Laws must be written and enacted to make all things fair for all tax paying citizens - that's all I'm advocating, gentlemen. I would never ask you to give up or change your religious views.