This is how I am with regards to gay marriage. Perhaps it's not the best position almost akin to say stopping black students from attending mostly white public schools by closing the schools. However, we may have to decide whether or not marriage must be a realm of the state. I say no, and I would rather a church (for example) willingly allow a gay couple to marry than for the current legislative and judicial battle to say that same-sex couples should have the same "right" to marry as heterosexual couples.
Imagine if government had no interest in the definition of marriage. Individuals could commit to each other, head to the local priest or rabbi or shaman — or no one at all — and enter into contractual agreements, call their blissful union whatever they felt it should be called and go about the business of their lives.Read the whole thing!
I certainly don't believe that gay marriage will trigger societal instability or undermine traditional marriage — we already have that covered — but mostly I believe your private relationships are none of my business. And without any government role in the institution, it wouldn't be the business of the 9th Circuit Court, either.
As the debate stands now, we have two activist groups trying to force their own ethical construction of marriage on the rest of us. And to enforce it, they have been using the power of the state — one via majority rule and the other using the judiciary (subject to change with the vagaries of public opinion).
If marriage were freed from the state, folks at The New York Times editorial board could avoid having to make the claim that gay marriage is a constitutional right. (Apparently anything can be a constitutional right at The Gray Lady as long as it's not mentioned in the Second, Fifth or 10th amendments.)
Even new Associate Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan recently wrote that "There is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage." It might be fair and it might be the decent thing to do, but a constitutional "right"?
If marriage was a private concern, U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker would not have ruled that California's Proposition 8 violated the Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process because Proposition 8 would not have existed.