Good points made by everyone.
I am not willing to settle for less than marriage either. If religious marriage could be separate from legal marriage, then those of us who wanted to get legally married (or a legal civil union or whatever it would be called) could do so and not have the whole thing blockaded by the conservative religious groups. Whatever the terminology used, it would have to be the same for gays and heteros.
If religious marriages were the domain of the church, then we could easily find the church of our choice and get married in religious ceremony. For Episcopalians like Dan and I that would be no problem, and the conservatives would have no say in what we do in the more liberal church.
If only we were more like Europe in a multitude of ways...sigh! It is disturbing for those of us who are proud to be Christians, that areas that are more churched are generally LESS likely to adhere to the principles of Christ than are areas with lower church attendance. Look at the US. The least churched areas are New England and the Pacific Northwest. The most churched areas are the deep South and Texas.
For I am convinced that neither life nor death...neither the present nor the future nor anything in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39