A few weeks ago, a lot of people voted Yes on 1. Some of them thought that defining marriage between a man and a woman in the state constitution would protect the institution.
If you know people like that, PLEASE DO NOT show them this article from the Washington Post about marriage rates in France. Marriage is being attacked over there like crazy. It's on the decline. Families and children and love are on the rise, but without marriage, WHERE WILL WE BE? (Am I sounding dramatic enough?)
The main reason:
The tax breaks the French government offers married couples, which are not as substantial as U.S. marriage tax reductions, are not enough to persuade most cohabitating couples to formalize their relationships. In France, the greatest financial and tax incentives target the number of children a couple has rather than the parents' marital status.
How many people get married in the US for the tax breaks or the kids? The expectations of religion and the economic advantages do more to increase divorce rates than allowing people who really love each other (regardless of gender) to marry.
I'm happy I get a tax break for being married, but even if I didn't, my wife and I would have still wed because we loved each other and wanted to formalize that love with a union recognized by the state and the church (these two are separate in my mind, by the way). And, a lot of relatives would have appreciated a certificate of marriage in our possession before we started shacking up together.
But, religion ain't universal, and love ain't exclusive. This is why I voted No on 1. And this is why, were there no economic advantages, you'd see 'marriage' as is decline as it is in France.
Bottom line: Marriage is not cheapened by homosexuals using the term; it's cheapened when heterosexuals do it for the tax breaks.