Coyote wrote:In an ideal situation IMO, marriage would be a private institution and have nothing to do with the state. But to deny state benefits to same-sex couples while that isn't the case is just wrong.
I think our views are not far apart. However, I do see a legitimate state interest in the sense that a marriage has a legal contractual component to it. I think the state does have an interest in determining which types of contracts are legally allowable. So, IF one agrees that the state has an legitimate interest in contracts, the secondary component is contract resolution and/or enforcement. I know some people hold that these functions could be handled by private institutions, but even if they did, their rules would still have to come under some kind of state guidelines for consistency's sake.
But yes, I don't see how the state has any interest in saying that this set of consenting adults can marry but this set of consenting adults cannot, when set is based on race, sex, religion, etc. Likewise, I don't think married couples (hetero or homo-sexual) should be rewarded by the state for their marriage and / or having children. Single people shouldn't be "punished" for remaining single.