Or is it? As with most issues on the current docket of the US popular scene, no one is asking the right questions OR dealing honestly with the issue.
It’s simple, marriage is, was and always has been a religious institution.
In 20th century US history, another Progressive idea, the “state” decided to take over marriage as a way of regulating commerce.
This is part of what led to increased divorce rates, but it also had specific benefits b/c of the financial interests that again, the Progressives had built into the “institution of marriage”.
So, for the last 120 years or so, marriage is TWO things. A religious ceremony/rite, and a civil contract – a binding financial document, no different than any other.
Religious questions are ones that NO government has the right to interfere with, so, it’s pretty simple, if your religious institution supports gay marriage, you can marry in your church/synagogue or whatever other house of worship you choose (in my case, as a conservative jew, The Jewish Theological Seminary has largely punted, leaving it up to the individual congregations, however they DO ordain gay rabbis; reform Judaism supports them, orthodox, not).
In the United States, Contracts have ALWAYS been state documents unless of course, it’s a contract with the federal government. Even contracts that cross state lines are considered to be written in the place of business, or are required to state which court will have jurisdiction.
The Federal court system only interferes as much as the contract may interfere with interstate commerce. But federal courts virtually NEVER get involved with personal contracts.
So, again, the only question is Does YOUR state support gay marriage?
Contracts have ALWAYS received reciprocity among the states so recognition should not be a problem, either.
Had the Federal government not grown so enormously in the last century, the issue of benefits for the federal employees who want to marry and are gay, would not be such a big issue.
However, the same rules apply.
The best example of this is that the difference in ages that states allow children/young adults to marry. Here in NY, the age of consent is considered to be 17. That varies state to state.
Some states require blood tests, others do not. Again. ALL of these issues are respected across state lines.
The same should apply here.
Simple, no mess, no federal issue.