For all the talk during the Prop 8 debate about how those opposed to same-sex marriage weren't against equal rights, they just felt "marriage" was between a man and a woman, just watch what happens when that option of fully-equivalent civil unions come up. For example, in Hawaii, where a civil unions bill is making its way through the legislature and seems to have the votes required to pass. Money quotes:
"“There is no benefit to an unproductive relationship,” said Virginia Domligan, a pastor at Prayer Center of the Pacific in Pearl City. “Full benefits are for traditional marriage between male and female.”"
"Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona urged legislators to respect the 1998 vote and reject civil unions. He suggested that lawmakers could put the question on the ballot again rather than pass a law without another vote of the people. “This is nothing more than same-sex marriage under a different name,” Aiona said. “You would be circumventing the will of the people.”"
The gay community is prepared to accept fully-equivalent civil unions (especially if they are required of all couples that seek state benefits), but if the opponents of marriage equality fight like this they're going to end up losing that big battle over the word "marriage." Maybe not this year or next, but soon. If they would compromise and accept civil equality, maybe they'd have a chance to hang on to that word that's so important to them.