On the part of liberals, the underlying premise is that marriage is, and should be, nothing more than government sanction of romantic/sexual relationships, which may be ended at will and have nothing to do with procreation.
Under this definition of civil marriage, it’s hard to refute the argument that forbidding it to homosexuals is based on bigotry. Since heterosexual marriages are no longer necessarily related to procreation, why should we forbid marriage to homosexuals on that ground?
Of course, I disagree with that definition. Therefore I don’t use a double standard: I don’t favor heterosexual marriages which may be ended at will and have nothing to do with procreation, while opposing gay marriages which may be ended at will and have nothing to do with procreation. I oppose both. I think that marriage, once entered into, should not be an at-will proposition, but should only be ended for grave reasons (again, speaking in terms of the civil law), and that it should have procreation and childrearing as its main purpose.
But politically speaking, that train left the station long ago. Since civil marriage is already a train wreck (I didn’t want to use two train metaphors in a row but I can’t think of a better one than “train wreck”), I can’t help feeling more-or-less indifferent to who does or doesn’t participate in it from here on out. I can’t even see why it should matter to a Christian businessman whether he bakes a cake for a gay civil wedding. There is nothing inherently immoral about going through a ceremony in which people promise to love and be faithful to each other until such time as they no longer want to.
Now if two men or two women wanted to have a sacramental wedding in a Catholic church, that would be a sacrilege since it would be mocking a sacrament, like celebrating Mass with pizza and beer. No Catholic could participate in such a thing with a clear conscience. But a civil marriage ceremony is not a sacrament, and a civil wedding — under the definition of civil marriage current in modern American culture — is not made a mockery by being participated in by two persons of the same sex.
Am I wrong?