As we discussed before, the "marriage lite" rules in France have led to a reduction in "real" marriages. Straight kids don't want the commitment or responsibilities that gay kids are denied. Young people have sued in other EU countries for "lesser" marriage.
In Britain, although the rights are almost indistinguishable between "marriage" and "civil union", the concept of "union" is more appealing to some young moderns.
"The titles of husband and wife and all the things that pop into people's heads when you say you're getting married don't appeal to us," said Doyle, a student. "In our day-to-day life we feel like civil partners — we don't feel like husband and wife, and we want the government to recognize that."
Marriage and civil partnership are virtually identical in law, and activists argue both should be open to all couples......
Britain introduced civil partnerships in 2005, giving gay couples the same legal protection, adoption and inheritance rights as heterosexual married partners — but not the label of marriage.
The Netherlands, Canada, Belgium, Portugal and Spain have legalized same-sex marriage, while Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland have laws similar to Britain's.
The British compromise was welcomed by many. Thousands of couples have tied the civil partnership knot since then, in venues ranging from city halls to the Houses of Parliament.
But for some, the distinction still rankles.
"We really appreciate the civil partnerships," said Sharon Ferguson, a pastor in the Metropolitan Community Church who hopes to wed partner Franka Strietzel but has been turned down for a marriage license. "But particularly because of my Christian faith, it's marriage that I want."