It’s a popular claim: Same sex marriage is about equal rights and equal protection under the law. The problem is people are already treated equally under the law with regards to marriage.
The argument, basically, is that gays do not have the right to marry whoever they please while straights do. The argument falls apart with the claim that straights can marry whoever they please because it simply is not true. Straights fall under the same limitations that all people fall under: the limitation that marriage is between one man and one woman. This means that straights cannot marry people of the same sex, more than one person, an animal, etc. The limitations placed upon straights are the same limitations placed upon gays. In reality, not only do these limitations apply equally gays and straights, but anyone who wants to marry outside of the one man and one woman definition or marriage.
Yes. Straights enjoy a certain benefit when they look to marry one person of the opposite sex. That benefit being that their wish doesn’t fall outside of the definition of marriage and therefore isn’t limited. The limitations haven’t been removed, the straight person just hasn’t run up against them. The restriction would, however, kick in if that straight person decided to take another spouse of the opposite sex.
Would a straight person that decided to take a second spouse of the opposite sex, but couldn’t because of the limitation, be discriminated against? Of course not, because the law is being applied equally for everyone.
That’s why this isn’t a civil rights issue. Civil rights issues deal with getting equal treatment, but as you can see gays already have equal treatment. There are other areas in which their fight is a civil rights issue such as gays in the military, or death sentences for gays in other countries, but same sex marriage is not one of those.
So, the reality is that gays are not looking for equal rights in marriage, but different rights. Not necessarily different rights than straights, but different rights altogether. They are looking to redefine marriage.
Note: I dislike differentiating people as gay or straight as I see everyone simply as human beings. I simply do it because it makes it easier to get an idea across.