With all of the talk about DOMA and Prop 8 this week it really has me thinking about what role the government should play in marriage. Their role, IMO, in this should only be legally bind families for financial purposes. It should be sterile and the traditional meanings of marriage (be it simply love or the religious aspect of it) should not be associated with anything government related. So, with that in mind, here's my suggestion on how to put everyone on equal ground so we can move on from this. 1.) Get out of the marriage business completely and let the marriage ceremony itself become strictly a symbolic event. Churches would obviously perform them....but also anywhere else could too since there would be no legal ramifications behind them. No need for a justice of the peace to be present and everyone still gets to have their cake. 2.) Let any 2 consenting adults enter into a civil union. No pomp and circumstance, no courthouse ceremony, no kissing of the bride.....fill out a document, have it notarized and we call it a day. Three conditions on this though: a.) There is a waiting period from application to execution....somewhere between 6 months and a year. During that waiting period if any side wants to back out they may do so penalty free. b.) Have the civil union contract specifically spell out ramifications of separation....basically a built in pre-nup. That way if things go sideways the split is clean and quick. c.) If you do terminate your civil union contract there is a 5 year waiting period before you can re-apply for a new one. Treat the civil union contract just like you would a business. If it is formed in state X it is valid in state x. If you move you need to re-register in your new state. Thoughts?