Originally Posted by Daniel
The Buddhist ceremony that my husband and I participated in was - simply put- about honoring and celebrating the love and commitment we were making to one another.
This statement and U-dog's poetic definition of marriage shows marriage as the dynamic state it is. Marriage is essentially a formal relationship (contractual and/or covenental) between two people.
Marriage dies when it becomes static, existing in an unchanging state. To me, the phrase "institution of marriage" connotes such a state. The last thing I want to do is live in an institution. Love itself is a dynamic life force. It is ever-changing, just as the people who love and are loved.
Marriage is the cultural and legal manifestation of the relationship between two people. It is society's way of sanctioning and promoting that relationship. It is, as Daniel says, the vehicle that carries two people's love through the labyrinth of life, culture and law. That's why I think that equality will only come when we all have marriage. Do you think straight folks would settle for civil unions or domestic partnerships?