Originally Posted by hyperskeptic
The legal arrangements about shared property, acting as next of kin, and all that are serious advantages, especially for people who are raising children together. There may be ways of contriving some of those things without calling it marriage, but it awfully convenient to have them bundled together as the civic aspect of marriage (as distinct from the religious aspect).
The fact that the whole arrangement is legally binding also offers protection to adult partners and to children in case one or the other partner turns out to be a dud, or worse.
As a matter of policy, I would like to see a separation of civil union from marriage, and an expansion of the variety of rights and options now bundled in marriage, including the possibility of a legally binding union encompass various kinds of relationships, not just heterosexual dyads.
Maybe we could unbundle all those rights and serve them up a la carte?
I think this is all more an argument for a different thread, but I agree that it is an advantage to have those things. They just aren't a part of what love is.
"Love me forever, or I get half your stuff" is my biggest problem with it.