The U.S. Government has a legal right to marry people as do the State governments as this will help to promote a more perfect union for the people being married becaused it is legally secured. To deny government a role in the legality of the marriage diminishes the quality of the marriage by denying people rights guaranteed to the people because of the marriage legally established.
The answer to the above statement is "yes". Whether one likes it or not entering a marriage is like entering a legally binding contract. There are rules with regard to finance, children etc. Who enforces said rules? The government. Therefore, in any legal marriage the government has a place. The debate is not whether the government has a place but rather how big should their place be?
For some reason people believe that marriage is only for those of religion when in fact, that's untrue. American culture is wrapped around this idea of marriage which allows many benefits between the married couple. Including Government services, health care, insurance, etc. If the Government was to rewrite the law allowing people to to gain these benefits some other way I would fully agree, but until then, I do not.
There should have never been a reason for DOMA in the first place because the federal government should not given out money or rights to people dependent upon their marital status or any other trivial status they decide. It always amazes me that the people who complain about all the unfair treatment of minorities, etc by the U.S. Government are the same people whom want the government to get bigger. Do you truly believe bigger government will equal more rights? I.E. Liberty?
Let me start by saying that if the government IS going to be involved in marriage, then the benefits of marriage need to be extended to ALL citizens regardless of race, sexual orientation, income, ability, etc.
HOWEVER, at the same time, I do NOT think that marriage should be a government-sanctioned institution. It started out as a religious sacrament, and it should stay that way. The fact that married couples are extended a myriad of benefits that are denied to those in civil unions/partnerships and even to those who are single is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause in and of itself.
Why should the government be involved in the first place? The main goal of government is to defend civil liberties. Marriage is not a right, it is an institution carried out mainly through churches and other private organizations, marriage should be left to these organizations not our federal government. This is the only way true equality in marriage would be achieved and would shift the marriage debate out of federal politics, which allows us to focus on more urgent issues.