In the light of the referendum results in Maine and Washington, as well as the discussion on Andrew Sullivan's blog, I decided to post my long-held belief of how to deal with the question of same-sex marriage. I think it's pretty simple, which is probably why it will never happen.
First, eliminate the word "marriage" from all federal, state and local laws. Marriage is a religious concept, and should stay away from government. If you want to be "married", you can go to a church, whether you are a homosexual or heterosexual couple. (There are a few churches out there that will marry gay couples, and hopefully that number will grow as time goes on.) Second, allow civil unions for all couples, gay or straight, that convey the same rights, tax breaks, and whatever else that marriage gives currently.
I have a hard time accepting a religious argument in regards to federal laws. The establishment clause of the First Amendment is there for a reason. If you remove the religious argument from same-sex marriage, pretty much the only arguments left are those based in bigotry.