I have been posting all around this matter. Its about time I got it out short and simple. On Crooked Timber, Henry Farrel posted an interesting discussion of a Slate article by Richard T Ford. The post discusses an analysis by John Sides of some attitude studies to see what correlates with opposition to gay marriage. The post is worth reading. Fords article is worth reading. There is one place where Ford comes close to saying one thing that I have for some time considered a likely hidden fear or hidden agenda that makes the "defending marriage" rhetoric seem so right to the righteous matrimonialists:
Marriage is something people do for many reasons and among those reasons is to draw on the status of the institution to borrow an enlargement and improvement of their own standing in their community. The less significant people feel and the less secure they feel about who they are, the more important this assumable aspect of identity becomes. There is a not too abstract ideal of marriage with which they identify because it will come to identify them....and these people typically would not want to be in any way identified with gays.