I would like to suggest a separation of church and state (radical, I know) when it comes to marriage, domestic partnerships, or whatever label it is given. Maybe we avoid the trigger-word "marriage" and allow that to be used only in a religious context, and use "domestic partnerships" or some other term. The main thing is that legally, the rights are the same from a legal perspective. This might mean some changes to the laws as far as marriage is concerned
My husband and I were married by a judge. By the state. Neither of us are religious, we don't go to church, we chose to be married in a secular ceremony by a judge.
Yet, the piece of paper issued by the state says at the top, very clearly: MARRIAGE LICENSE.
Now. If you want to say that marriage has religious meaning or religious significance, then by all rights, my husband and I should NOT be married.
And I'd be fine with that. I'd be really fine if marriage were limited to a religious context and the churches/synegogs/etc decided who could be married or not.
That way the rest of us could have whatever government sanctioned legal "joining" existed and we'd all be finel.