The Real Obstacle for Proponents of Same-Sex Marriage
Consider the following: Marriage originated as a religious institution. It was a way of binding two people together for the common purpose of raising offspring, providing a nuclear environment in which to raise children according to the beliefs of the parents and the community to which they belonged. With the advent of the code of law (long before the founding of the US), marriage soon defined the legal relationships and rights of a family unit within their home community and to other communities.
It wasn't long after that marriage became, at least in part, an economic pact for some. History is replete with arranged marriages wherein entire families financially benefitted from the union of a son or daughter to another family. This was the earliest form of the corporate merger, indeed before corporations even existed. With legal and financial elements now so near the core of the religious institution of marriage, it was only a matter of time before the government co-opted it and declared it a civil institution.
We presently live in a country where Congress writes tax code specifically targeted at married couples. The same Congress spends our tax dollars on social programs and passes legislative mandates that exceed its constitutionally enumerated powers. And it takes these actions without regard for the objections of the people. These social programs and mandates are built ‘one size fits all,' regardless of the cultural differences among the many states in our union. Therefore, states (and their respective citizens) are compelled to comply with laws that its citizens would never approve unto themselves.
If social programs and tax codes were solely under the domain of the individual states (where they should be constitutionally) rather than a federal, centralized government, then each state could choose to recognize same-sex marriage and how it fits into the tax code and social programs according to the will of its respective citizens. Imagine a same-sex couple married in Massachusetts, deciding to make a career move to say, Texas. Through its legislative process the citizens of Texas could say, ‘we welcome you, but our state programs do not mandate any special treatment for married couples. And since we don't have a state income tax, neither does our tax code.' It wouldn't be discriminatory... everyone is treated alike.
The federal tax code and government spending are largely what stand in the way of the recognition of same-sex marriage. Imagine living in a land where equality is achieved because the government did nothing.