Here at Bosqueboys we have had extended discussion of the issue of society recognition of same-sex marriage. On this issue, A Waco Farmer and I disagree. He taking the affirmative, and I the negative position. To continue discussion, I submit the following essay.

Margaret Somerville is Samuel Gale Professor of Law and Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University's Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law. She is the author of: The Ethical Canary: Science, Society and the Human Spirit and Death Talk: The Case Against Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide.
A few years ago she made a well-reasoned argument against recognizing same-sex marriage based on secular reasoning. Although the immediate context was Canadian law, the argument applies to the US as well, I think. Here is her first paragraph.

Establishing context
I want, first, to outline briefly the context in which my comments on same-sex marriage are grounded, because in this debate context is definitely not neutral and is not the same for everyone. As this committee has heard, many people who oppose extending the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples do so on religious grounds or because of moral objections to homosexuality. They are not the bases of my arguments. Rather, my arguments against same-sex marriage are secularly based and, to the extent that they involve morals and values, these are grounded in ethics not religion. To summarize:

I oppose discrimination on basis of sexual orientation, whether against homosexuals or heterosexuals.

I believe that civil partnerships open to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples should be legally recognized and that the partners, whether opposite-sex or same-sex, are entitled to the same benefits and protection of the law.

But I do not believe that we should change the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples. My reasons go to the nature of marriage as the societal institution that represents, symbolizes and protects the inherently reproductive human relationship. I believe that society needs such an institution.

To read the entire presentation.