I have read many letters to the editor on this page about extending marriage benefits to gay and lesbian couples. Many of these admonishments against this extension are based in religion. That is an issue that should not be raised in a society where the First Amendment of the Constitution allows for the free exercise of religion and the state cannot make any laws restricting the practice. How would allowing marriage benefits to gay couples destroy your religious freedoms? It would not. Each church has the right to refuse to marry any couple - heterosexual or homosexual.
Religion is a personal choice, belief, and practice. The only difference between a fundamentalist Christian and myself is that I have no problem with their existence. I do not have a problem with them voicing their beliefs; however, these beliefs are not everyone's in this country.
Contrary to what you might think, I do not expect your church to marry me. However, I would expect and should expect the state to recognize my civil marriage just as it recognizes the civil marriages of heterosexual couples.