I voted no on Referendum 74 on linguistic, historical and logical grounds. Start with the existing misnomer, “Everything but marriage.”
This to me is like saying that men have all the rights of women but pregnancy, which leads us into the area of “gender neutral.” Some words—uterus, prostate, ovary, testicle for example—are just not neutral. Marriage is another. Throughout history the primary purpose of marriage, in all its forms, has been the bringing together of men and women for the purpose of bringing together a sperm and an egg. Whether or not this occurs, the idea of men and women has remained constant.
This is not to say that there cannot or should not be loving and committed formalized homosexual relationships. Committed partnerships? Blessed unions? Just don’t call them marriages. This is an opportunity to add to the language rather than to change it.
As for the businesses that cater to marriages and are concerned, for religious or other reasons, that they may be penalized for not providing their services for homosexual unions, I’d suggest that they either change their requirements or their business.
Okay, the floor is open.