To wed someone in a religious ceremony is entirely different than to legally marry someone.<quoted text>
Does the "right to marry" only exist if the state legally recognizes marriage? If people marry according to the dictates of their religion, but seek, nor receive state recognition, did they still exercise their right to marry?
It is, in all fifty states.
I'm sure that people who wish to have multiple partners can wed if they find a pastor willing to do this. They do so with the understanding that state and federal governments do not recognize plural marriage.
Marriage is not defined the same in all fifty states. Eleven states and the District of Columbia recognize marriage between same-gender partners.
Should same-gender partners be forced to leave the state of their residency and move to a state that allows them to legally marry?
And what of the federal benefits and protections that are afforded to legally married opposite-gender couples? Shouldn't couples who are legally married in the eleven states and D.C. also be given federal benefits and protections?
Here's something to ponder... If the U.S. were invaded next week by a serious enemy and the federal government enacted the draft in order to fight, gay and lesbian citizens of the U.S. would be required to enlist. They would be forced to defend the country--putting their lives on the line to protect you, me, and every other person living here.
Is it right that gay and lesbian service personnel be denied the federal benefits and protections of marriage, yet be called upon to defend the country?
Openly gay service personnel are doing just that--even as I type. Yet their spouses; people who they have legally married in states that have passed same-gender marriage laws, cannot live on base with their active duty spouse, cannot shop in a base exchange for groceries, clothing, cannot receive family VA treatment, etc.--all due to the Defense of Marriage Act.
How is this fair?
Is a gay person's service to this country different than a straight person's service? Do gay people die differently in combat than straight people?
Gay and lesbian people DESERVE equal rights. It's that simple.