I’ve often thought that ‘marriage’ as traditionally understood is a lost cause- not because it is likely to be extended to same sex couples, but rather because everyone (Christians included) seems to agree about the validity of the concept of sexual identity (whether hetero, homo, or otherwise) and the idea that marriage is most fundamentally about sexual expression with the ‘one true love’ of the West’s Romantic Myth.
That battle was lost decades ago, but few seem to know it. Most are arguing over orifices, not marriage.
This is clear from the current confusion regarding the central place of procreation within the institution of marriage. Without denying that there might be a ‘thoughtful embrace,’ I think this is a result of our thoughtless embrace of certain technologies. Our capabilities have hidden the most fundamental of realities from us, and we are vulnerable and foolish for it.
Wendell Berry has written about the connection between our attitudes about our bodies and the land. Like the food we buy off the shelves of the local supermarket, we’ve forgotten where the next generation really comes from, and the need to protect it.
JohnH has a helpful post on Marriage and Procreation.
Alastair has a typically uber-helpful discussion on marriage as an institution.