Argument Civil unions avoid drawn out culture war on gay marriage
Steve Swayne. "The Case for Federal Civil Unions." Independent Gay Forum. February 28, 2004: "Granted, some conservatives grouse that civil unions are marriage in everything but name, and some liberals complain that unless unions are called marriages, they lack the social prestige that marriage has. But lawmakers should be wrestling with weightier issues than the “threat” of redefining the word “marriage.” A drawn-out culture war on this issue is not in anyone's best interest."
David Blankenhorn and Jonathan Rauch. "A Reconciliation on Gay Marriage." New York Times. February 21, 2009: "Linking federal civil unions to guarantees of religious freedom seems a natural way to give the two sides something they would greatly value while heading off a long-term, take-no-prisoners conflict. That should appeal to cooler heads on both sides, and it also ought to appeal to President Obama, who opposes same-sex marriage but has endorsed federal civil unions."