I'm Roman Catholic. To me, that means marriage is a sacrament designed to last, and even divorce should not be permitted.
Recently I participated in a joke post on somebody else's blog, playing devil's advocate:
Why California can no longer afford divorce
But I fear it might have left my real position confused.
So here goes- the gay agenda has highlighted one thing in particular. Writing marriage into civil law comes dangerously close to violating the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution. Which causes a conflict for me between faith and patriotism.
Thus I propose this answer: We split civil recognition of marriage into three parts.
First of all, Sacramental marriages may no longer be recognized by the State at all. They are fully in the province of religion, and follow the rules of the religious sect of the person who officiates at the marriage. The person officiating at the ceremony has the full right to require premarital classes and counseling, and based on the results of that reject doing the ceremony.
The Second recognizes that the State does indeed have an interest in promoting procreation. For that purpose, we use the word marriage as we always have, but with a twist. This marriage cannot be dissolved by divorce while there are still children under the age of 18 in the household, except by reason of physical abuse. Also, the state reserves the right to annul any marriage that does not produce children, and refuse a marriage license to any couple either not intending to, or incapable of, producing children. The exception to the right of annulment on the part of the State is an active intent to adopt, with the adoption process already in progress.
The third recognizes and solves the discrimination of the second. The State also has an interest in encouraging cohabitation for the combining of household resources. But this isn't marriage- this is Civil Unions. Civil unions should not discriminate based on race, color, creed, sex, gender, sexual orientation, species, age, or number of participants. Civil unions may, or may not, have a term limitation not exceeding 30 years, renewable five times. Civil union contracts may be dissolved before the term limitation for any reason. Civil unions effectively create a corporate household in which all members share all benefits of contracts signed by the household equally, including power of attorney and right of visitation for each other.