petite-kopine asked: I think that when you label something as "legitimate" than you are also placing a label of difference and even wrong on things that don't fall into that label, and maybe a single person simply viewing heterosexual marriages as legitimate wouldn't be harmful but there are harmful consequences when that view impacts legislation and suddenly only certain types of marriages can even exist because of people's "subjective preference" or certain families are excluded or harmed because of this label.
I can respect that point of view. Subjectivity is here to stay, so it is my personal hope that as fallible human beings we can approach these touchy topics with a degree of humility and be seekers of solutions, rather than soldiers of our own subjectivity. There is a saying that I feel is very appropriate to the same-sex marriage debate, which is “My rights and freedoms end, where your rights and freedoms begin.” The institution of marriage, in its current form, in some ways straddles this boundary captured in the quote. Through a purely governmental lens, I can’t see a justification for restrictions on same-sex marriage, but when viewed through a religious lens I can’t see a justification that allows same-sex marriage in the God-sanctioning sense.
So, in a nutshell, my right to believe that the only legitimate marriages are between a man and a woman can be balanced/countered by legislation that grants same-sex couples the right to marry. I think problems arise when people refuse to recognize the right for others to pursue their happiness in spite of the form it takes.