Sorry I misunderstood what you meant. By marriage I don't mean marriage in a church or the religeous ceremony, I mean the civil rights, registry office and paperwork, which as far as I know is what people are campaigning for politically.
Well, while I'm sure definitions of religious signifigance vary, there's more to this than just the rights of involved people even if thats what on the paperwork. Even with all the changes going on in our society, marriage is still a legitimancy stamp for relationships and has culture connotations. Which is why this issue is so much more inflammatory to some people, than hate crime laws or whatnot. I don't think that going after marriage first is an accident, as its what I'd do if I was planning to change public perception.
My point was that the marriage of individuals, (regardless of sexuality), when not in the form of a religeous ceremony will not affect believers; thus by preventing them from marrying their rights to happinness and financial security are being infringed (is that the right word?).
Er. I have to disagree with the not affecting people part. Cultural changes and shift affect people that live in that culture. Unless all believers get teleported to mars, changes like this affect them and everyone else. If marijuana was made legal tomorrow for example, this would make several changes. It would be legal, at least somewhat more acceptable and the people that believe its a legit choice would have a lot more solid backing.
This isn't quite the same category, but judging from possibilities and history, I'd say the aftermath would be somewhere in that category. If you could something a not acceptable option for whatever reason, generally, you wouldn't want the federal government proclaiming it legal, right, necessary and equal. Or at least not acceptable. That does encourage people to see it as all right and to do it if they want. Some people obviously believe its acceptable and that the rights of those involved outweight whatever else, but thats not my point. I just consider cultural changes an affect and one that people could well take into consideration.
Many religeous people are opposed to it because they feel more young people will be "persuaded" to be gay if they can marry. No one is persuaded to be gay, your sexuality is something you are born with.
I have to disagree here. I don't think sexuality is always the firm, ingrained people make it out to be. Certainly, some people display same sex attractions at ages that still boggle my mind. Some studies suggest that for some people, there's differences in the brain as well. I read one of those a while back and I'm not going to pretend they don't exist. That also doesn't apply to every gay man and women, every bi one or every straight one, for that matter.
There's a lot of people that display... flexibility. Some girls and more rarely (in my personal experience) boys, that have flings with the other sex and eventually return to mostly straightness. Some are bi, but may or may not practice it and all the grey areas in between. You could argue that they weren't gay in the first place and that might be true, but sexuality seems to have some malleability for a decent share of the population if studies, stories and the rest are anything to go by.
The scary sexual abuse numbers in the US also likely deserve some consideration. I don't believe abuse alone necessarily makes someone gay or not, or that its the only reason. As numbers are frighteningly high and as profound as the affect is on children, I don't see how we can rule it out as something that can affect either orientation. My own experience wasn't a dramatic one, but it threw my sexuality and views of off-kilter for several years. For people that have more traumatic ones, well.. its something that does affect people's urges, beliefs and sometimes inclinations. That some of the inclinations could involve orientation for people with more flexibility would seem reasonable.
By allowing religeous people to prevent another group of people from an action that doesn't actually harm anyone is to give them unfair dominance; if one religeon was given dominance over another there would be outcry (I don't mean a state religeon like C of E by the way, I mean a theocracy).
There is a messy issue, even for me. I've heard arguments (some good) that it shouldn't it even go to the ballot like it has. As long as it does though, the point becomes moot. While religion is the reasoning for a lot of the opposing argument, the bottom line is that people put measures to the ballot, had them voted for and won in the majority of cases. I consider unfair dominance the necessary evil of democracy, including when it applies to me. Religion holding that place in this issue doesn't seem more evil to me than the republicans or democrats doing the same thing about gun control, the death penalty or some other issue I might have strong feelings about.