You guys always want to base this issue on history.<quoted text>
True there are scattered historical examples of recognized same sex unions, not all were deemed "marriage", however, "gay marriage" is a modern western invention. Also same sex sexual behavior is not new. Why was there no sustained, with deep historical roots, cross cultural, cross time practice of same sex marriage, at least in Western Civilization?
Here's the thing... We participate in many social activities and have created new social institutions that do not have a firm basis in history.
Most modern, First World societies on the planet have some kind of compulsory education program for kids and teens. Though, looking back you'll find only scattered instances of compulsory education throughout the history of mankind. And the vast majority of those examples were closely tied to religion--not the sciences, math, language, etc.
Look at how women are treated in today's First World nations. Equality of the sexes has never been more pervasive than it is today.
Human rights and equality are also fairly modern concepts. Our current societies don't keep slaves. We strive to treat one another humanely. Folks are encouraged to explore new ideas. Freedom of speech, the freedom to travel, the freedom to own property, the freedom to worship (or not worship), the freedom from unjust laws and treatments are just a few of the widespread values that most modern day, Western cultures embrace.
Our economy is new. Cultures in the past relied heavily on agriculture and trade. Today, however, we buy and sell abstract ideas and technologies.
The bottom line is that our society today looks VERY different than societies of the past.
So why should we base the notion of marriage on the past? Why can't we embrace a new notion of marriage? It's not like marriage has remained static over the eons. There have been marriages between one man and one woman; one man and many women, arranged marriages, marriages based on love, marriages based on wealth. And has been pointed out numerous times, there have been same-sex marriage and various times in mankind's history.
Our ability to alter the current man-woman marriage arrangement SHOULD NOT be based on history.
History, in and of itself, SHOULD NOT define our current society, nor should it define our future society.
Fear of change is a bona-fide fear. But it does not mean that we should halt in our tracks. It does not mean that we should cling to the past.
If we allow the fear of change to overtake us, then our future is going to be pretty bleak.
Same-sex marriage will not impact anyone other than those same-sex couples who enter into marriage.
Stop being afraid of it.