I’ve been espousing this position for at least 5 year (probably more). I think it’s the only solution that could make everyone happy. Civil marriage is available to all, religious marriage varies based upon church/religious institution.
During a visit to St. Michael & All Angels Church this morning, the Rev. V. Eugene Robinson said he favored the system used in France and other parts of Europe in which civil marriage – performed by government officials – is completely separate from religious vows. In the U.S., the civil and religious ceremonies are often combined with the cleric signing the government marriage license.
“In this country, it has become very confusing about where the civil action begins and ends and where the religious action begins and ends, because we have asked clergy to be agents of the state,” said Robinson, the bishop of New Hampshire.