Yes. Most people's issue with gay marriage is simply that it is called marriage. It might sound pedantic, but I know the feeling well. I personally don't have any aversion to gays entering life long relasionships, but I do have a natural stubbornness in the face of change in general and I can sympathize with wanting to protect the old ways. After all, marriage is an institution specifically designed to rear children with many laws and tax breaks designed to encourage taking care of kids. And while adoption is possible, its not a staple of gay relationships. In light of these differences in the relationships, I'd think separate legislation would be prudent. Expanding the civil union to reap practically all benefits afforded to marriage (pensions, hospital visitation, etc.) while allowing the word to keep its initial meaning.
Civil Union marriages definitely protects the institution of marriage. There is not need to place parenthesis around the phrase institution of marriage. Marriage is in face a legal institution of which the legality mandates that the participants have protection if the marriage was to get dissolved or permeates to divorce.
We decided long ago in America that any form of separate but equal treatment in our country was anything but equal. And that includes marriage, which is not an institution of any sort. If you don't like the idea of gay marriage, then don't get married to someone the same gender as you. End of story.
Civil unions do not better protect the "institution of marriage". This is because of the fact that marriages today that aren't civil unions don't protect the original intent behind the institution of marriage. In the past, marriage was intended to create a sense of ownership over the wife. People today aren't living up to this either. Marriage is different now and should include gays.
The institution of marriage is between a loving couple who wants to start a family, and that goes for gay couples as well as straight couples. Civil unions don't protect the institution, they just insult, degrade, and marginalize a minority group that deserves better. They are citizens just like the rest of us.
Civil unions do not better protect the "institution of marriage". I do not care what you want to call something, it is still the same thing. I think we should just let them get married with the same benefits as everyone else. I think it is time to stop judging and lead your own life without butting into each other lifes.
Civil unions are supposed to protect the "institution of marriage" by not allowing gays to actually wed. However, these unions do nothing but discriminate against a sizable portion of the population. There's no reason that gay people should be barred from marriage in the 21st century. Doing so is just insane.