The word is important. Those who are anti-gay marriage generally believe at least one of the following: a) Same-sex relationships are morally wrong. b) Same-sex relationships aren't as valid, real or valuable as hetro relationships. There is also a group who don't prescribe to the above but just believe that an essential ingredent for a marriage is 1 man, 1 woman. But I personally think this is a small group. Usually people are against for esentially, the above 2 reasons. If, as a society, we agree that same-sex relationships are NOT morally wrong, if we agree that these relations ARE valid, valuable and real to the same extent as marriges are - how can we NOT allow them to use the same word?! To force them to call their relationship something else simply re-enforces beliefs a) and b) and continues the in-equality. The sad thing is that what the word 'marriage' means to me, what it requires and what it says about my relationship with my wife may be totally different to another man and his wife. But what has that got to do with me? Do I have a right to tell him that what they have is NOT marriage?