Originally Posted by Row6
That's about right, although I also acknowledge that marriage and the laws surrounding it predates the government and is an ancient arrangement present in all cultures in various forms and is many ways one of the few necessary building blocks of it. Saying the government shouldn't recognize it is would be like saying government shouldn't recognize property or families.
Probably a more accurate way to describe it would be that the government wouldn't be limited to acknowledging one particular flavor of the contract. The term "marriage" would be irrelevant (to the government). All that would matter is what the contractual obligations are. The term "property" isn't relevant to the government (at least not without relevant qualifiers)...it is the specific contractual obligations that matter. We have many different types of "property" spelled out by different forms of contracts. Same thing could be done for relationships.
The marriage that you describe in the traditional sense has long been held to be between a man and a woman. That it may never have been spelled out doesn't mean that it was ever designed to be an institution for a man and a man. It's only natural that when a rule change/declaration is made that some will favor the previous interpretation vs. the adjusted one. As reasonable people, we can declare both to be permitted to have their way (in terms of exclusivity of a label). In looking at sports and religion we can see how different factions come about because not everybody agrees with the rule changes; yet all are entitled to their interpretations.
In terms of the impact of the benefits provided by the Federal Government. We need to do a better job assessing "why is it productive for our nation to provide this benefit?"