"Semantic Bandwagon" is not a Googlewhack.
"mar·riage ( P ) (mrj)
1. The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife.
2. The state of being married; wedlock.
3. A common-law marriage..."
Hmp. As you may have guessed, I don't much like dictionary.com. This definition matches up to my battered old Chambers' 20th Century dictionary, but lead me to wonder why...
Pedantry aside, it seems that this whole "gay marriage" debate is based on a semantic rather than a pragmatic basis: the dictionary definition of the word describes its common linguistic usages, rather than necessarily a precise meaning. To be blunt:
Why do we have the word "marriage" anyway?
It seems that what is being described here is the legitimisation of sexual relations by a State-approved contract (Capital letters for Big Scary Organisation), or, in layman's English: it's a big bit of paper from your superiors with "Permission to Fuck" written on it. Now, I personally think that there's something a bit wrong with people who need to have their bedroom antics approved by anyone else, but disregarding this for the moment, from a government's point of view, extra regulation is a good thing. If the government doesn't ban homosexuality entirely, then it must endorse official partnerships for same-sex couples, purely for consistency's sake. Unless, of course, that government would like to ban homosexuality but daren't.
At this point I emphatically do not point to the United States of America. There's not much more to say. I'm for gay marriage as long as there's an institution of marriage at all, but I don't see any reason, other than that of administrative ease, for an institution of marriage in the first place. Whatever your Corporate Oppressors do tomorrow, hope they do it consistently.