That's the tone of a Star Tribune op/ed piece on the front page of the Opinion page in the Sunday Star Tribune entitled, "Civil unions offer solution to a vexing question."
The writer, Mary Catherine Preus, in the piece prominently featured top of the fold on the front page of the Sunday opinion page, suggests civil unions is the compromise necessary to resolve the debate over same sex marriage.
She's wrong on all points. For one, civil unions are simply marriage by another name. It affords homosexual unions the legal status and public endorsement they desire except for the eight letter label: marriage. And, as so many homosexual activists point out, civil unions are only a down payment for eventual same sex marriage recognition. In Connecticut, I believe, immediately after the state enacted civil union legislation, a homosexual activist said it was merely a down payment for marriage recognition. And in New Jersey, a homosexual activist heads up a task force reviewing "problems" with their civil union law. Civil unions are merely a step on the way to marriage recognition. Soften up public opinion, as they say, so they can eventually get homosexual marriage recognition.
Preus tells opponents of same sex marriage that civil unions is really a simple concession to the many activities we dislike but are here to stay. It provides a "legal accommodation" like so many other activities we disapprove of, e.g. liquor, artificial insemination, divorce, surrogate mothers and so forth. That begs the question: Is the underlying activity something we want to encourage which is what civil unions will do? Do we want to encourage and promote the idea that deliberately denying a child a mom and a dad is a good thing? Officially recognizing same sex unions will only serve to further de-legitimize the notion that having children raised without a mother and a father is a bad thing. In fact, it will afford societal benefits and a societal stamp of approval to familial arrangements which, by definition, deny the presence of a mother or a father.
It's interesting how Preus seeks to subtly marginalize the "moral or religious reasons" which motivate people who oppose certain behaviors, while even evoking Jesus Christ. That's the old secularist tactic that seeks to place people with religious convictions on the margins of the public debate so secularists will have a freer rein in the public debate. The fact is the secularist position is a worldview as much as the theistic perspective is, and shouldn't be given a special standing in the public square.
Preus tries to short circuit the criticism that same sex marriage will see a push for polygamy. She says civil unions aren't giving marital status to same sex couples and therefore will provide no basis for recognizing polygamous marriages. Applying her logic to polygamy, once civil unions are granted to homosexual couples, some alternative legal status will no doubt be sought by polygamous folks seeking recognition of their "committed" polygamous relationships.
The bottom line is civil unions are merely part of an incremental strategy for obtaining homosexual marriage recognition.