It's a cherry picked issue chosen because there is political advantage to making it an issue and most people wont realize that they're being used.
So what is the political advantage of you dodging the question of why Same Sex Marriage shouldn't be treated the same as regular marriage?
There's no political advantage at all. There is a principle at stake though. The principle is that if you create a set of benefits designed to encourage specific behavior among a specific group of people, it kinda makes sense to limit the benefits to the specific group and the specific behavior you want to encourage. Now, to be fair, if I were a hard core libertarian (which I'm not), I'd argue we shouldn't be doing this at all. But the fact is that we do this all the time. And, in fact, the left does this far far more than the right.
For example: Let's say that we see that there is a disproportionate percentage of poor people attending college. We might decide to create a program designed to encourage more poor kids to go to college, right? This might include scholarships, extra funding for college track classes at high schools with predominantly poor students, etc. Details aren't important, the point is that we create this program with a specific result for a specific group in mind. One might argue that it would be wrong to insist that since this is discrimination (which it most definitely is), that we can't exclude rich kids from receiving the same benefits. Yet that would defeat the purpose of the program.
Same principle involved. Our existing marriage status, including all of the government benefits attached to said status, was created with a specific group in mind: Opposite sex couples. Regardless of whether you agree on why the benefits exist, or what we're trying to encourage them to do (we've had this debate before and I don't want to rehash it), that was the group targeted when those benefits were created. There was some reason for doing so. So simply insisting that we should extend those benefits to another group, which was not considered at the time the benefits were created violates that principle. It violates it for exactly the reason that I've been talking about. If that's sufficient reason for expanding it, then the same argument applies for every single government program which exists, but which currently limits the recipients of the benefits of said programs.
You want to argue that this is about SSM, but it's not. If you were arguing that the Dodgers should win the pennant because they have the strongest pitching squad, you aren't really making an argument about the Dodgers, but about the relationship between strong pitching and winning pennants. If you insisted that the same argument can only be applied when we're talking about the Dodgers, then the rest of us can conclude that your argument is really irrelevant. You're just a Dodgers fan.
Similarly, if you are unwilling to extend the argument being made beyond just same sex marriage, then we can conclude that your argument is actually irrelevant. You are just a fan of same sex marriage. And just like a sports fan, that choice is purely arbitrary. Edited, May 4th 2011 8:12pm by gbaji