Originally Posted by InsaneMystic
The problem is that it's a religiously charged word. Marriage has definitions floating around that aren't
going to change, as they could only be changed by religious authorities like the RomCath Pope (who shows zero interest to do so): "One man, one woman, for life, now go make babies as that's the whole point of sex!" I'd like for a secular state to get utterly rid of those associations sooner rather than later.
Also, I don't understand the logic in your last paragraph... if it is, to you, two words meaning the same, why would it matter if one of the words gets abandoned outside of religious parlance? If they're the same, then dissolving all (non-religious) marriages and replacing them with civil unions, and making religious marriages obliged to get a c.u. on top in order to get legal benefits, shouldn't get more of a shrug than, say, a candy bar rename ("Raider now is called Twix!"
Well, my main problem is actually well shown in your first paragraph. Marriage, to me, is NOT a religiously charged word. It's totally secular, and religious people happen to use the same word for their religious unions. Saying that WE have to change the word we use is saying that they're more important, and that they get to decide and keep a word that, from my point of view, did not start as religious (it was an exchange of property, which is a legal affair, not a religious one).
I've said in the past, if religious people want to have their own word, let them create one, "Goddage" or something, and not make everybody else have to change for their sake. It's just a word change, yes, but everyone is used to this word, all the paperwork is using this word, and it would be a huge hassle for everyone to change all that. "Husband" and "wife" are regularly used for long-term couples who aren't actually married, for instance, and you have expressions such as "old married couple", etc.
The contexts in which the word "marriage" is used in a religious way are, from my point of view, so rare that getting everyone to bend over backwards and say "okay, now this word is ONLY religious, and most of the time we used it, we're going to have to say something else instead" is creating a lot of hassle for no good reason.
We're fine with the idea that a date can be a fruit or a number on a calendar, or a rendez-vous. We're fine with "bottle" being a whole range of objects, from baby bottles to plastic bottles. I can't see why the same word "marriage" couldn't have the two meanings it has had for centuries, "life contract between people", as well as the religious one. It doesn't bother me that they're using my word, but I sure aren't going to change the word I'm using for their sake.
EDIT: Here is a link
to a video that, while it's on a different issue (same sex marriage) makes some points similar to my views.