BTS---my comments on marriage applies to the US, and was in response to this statement:
When religion was state enforced, all of its precepts, including marriage, were state regulated. In our society, the government sanctioned institution of marriage is a surviving vestige from before the separation of church and state
Marriage predates Christianity (shhh, don't tell the fundies), but religion played a major role in how our govt. defines it. Now that we push for separation, the major argument against SSM (thanks for that abbreviation) is still religious.
I am sure many other scenarios exist around the world, but that is a big subject, and not what I'm focusing on here. My original point was that it IS a concern of mine what people believe, because they DON'T keep it private, and snatch up political power to make their beliefs my problem. They aren't just sitting there all meek and worshipping their god and minding their own business. They are infiltrating our govt with the desire to push their agenda and are constantly trying to wheedle into the schools to keep our children ignorant. If one lurker reads these debates, and is convinced away from certain beliefs, then it will be one less potential person working against secularism. So of course this issue is important, and as important as political issues, especially considering that they are often one and the same.