One may under US law, enter into a legal contract with any other individual to bestow a power-of-attorney, joint ownership of property, beneficiary of insurance or investments, co-own property, designate as emergency contact, etc. etc. and if anyone wants to get married, they may do so within certain limitations that are existing under current law. Brother and sister may not marry, a 10 year old girl and a 40 year old man may not marry and polygamy is prohibited, so there is precedent for limitations on what constitutes marriage.
Not all states have identical laws on marriage, guns, driving, or voting, etc. The government didn’t regulate marriage before the end of the American Civil War when Southern Democrats wanted to stop the interracial marriages (and collect more fees?), and later Utah wanted to control polygamy.
Marriage IS a religious tenant not a civil one. gub’mint has no business IMO, being involved in marriage. Equal protection under the law is NOT special protection under the law. Marriage, as a religious tenant is one man and one woman united for life for the procreation and nurturing of the family. (Procreation is not a mandate, but is the preferred objective.)
Should the law permit individuals that have certain religious beliefs to use human sacrifice in their religious ceremonies? (The example is extreme, but it does tie into First Amendment rights of freedom of worship.) So therefore, using the “equal protection” argument, Incas in the US should be permitted, under equal protection of the law, to worship as they please and even to redefine the word worship to permit them to murder.
Words have meanings. Orwellian NewSpeak is dangerous to civil society. One can argue if changing the word marriage is NewSpeak, but if hundreds of words are modified such as marriage, gay, tolerance, democracy, natural-born citizen, murder, etc. language becomes irrelevant, communication breaks down. One person can not fully understand what the other person is saying.
Anecdote: While in the US Army, my job was in combat arms, but my platoon was assigned to the headquarters company. All of the headquarters companies of Armor units, at that time, had a higher percentage of “colored” troops assigned. Many of the jobs at headquarters were skills jobs, cooks, medics, clerks, etc. so most of the troops were well educated individuals.
I served with, worked with and partied with many of the men from headquarters. Racial tensions were high at that time, Malcolm X, M. L. King Jr., Stokley Carmichael were prominent figures (MLK was shot about then too.).
The black troops I would hang with off duty had a NewSpeak of their own, that I was able to understand to a small degree. They could look you in the eye (a white guy or officer) and insult them, and the white guy would be laughing along with them. I thought it was very interesting how they understood and used this NewSpeak language.
Politicians, journalists and talking heads today use a watered down version of NewSpeak to “tell the truth” when asked a question, but they mean a totally different thing than what we normally understand.
This is why I am so adamant about the meaning of words and not redefining words, especially legal concepts and language, to a new meaning.