Tony Campolo has posted today offering A Possible Compromise on the Gay Marriage Controversy. Basically he makes the very sensible suggestion that marriage should continue to be understood as “a sacred institution”, and that
the government should get out of the business of marrying people and, instead, only give legal status to civil unions.
This is what happens in many countries of continental Europe, in which legal marriage ceremonies are separate from religious ones. On this basis the government could allow civil unions between same-sex couples, if it chose to do so, without this having any religious implications. And each church or other religious grouping could perform whatever ceremonies it wished, and not perform those it did not wish, without government intervention.
It actually amazes me that this is not already the situation in the USA, where religion is supposed to be separate from the state. Even though there is not that same separation here in the UK, I think it would make a lot of sense to move British marriage and civil partnership practices in the same direction.