While Republican standard bearer John McCain garnered only thirty-seven (37) percent of the vote in California, a constitutional amendment to ban gay weddings and define marriage as a union between a man and a woman passed fifty-two (52) percent to forty-seven (47) percent. With Proposition 8 carrying the day in the home of such stalwart Liberal political icons as Maxine Waters, Barbara Boxer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the stage is set for an extended fight between gay rights activists and defenders of traditional family values in the Golden State. While opponents of the constitutional amendment vow to carry on the battle to legalize same-sex marriage in both the courts and the voting booth, they are heartened by the fact that sixty-one (61) percent of voters supported a similar measure in 2000. The resulting nine (9) percent shift over the past eight years suggests time and evolving views on social mores and traditions are on their side. This belief is reinforced when one considers current views on interracial relationships and marriage. Once considered an abhorrent social taboo, interracial relationships and marriages are now commonplace across the nation. Social mores that once aggressively condemned black and white unions and supported public ostracization of interracial couples have evolved to the point where they fail to illicit even a second glance from the vast majority of Americans. Furthermore, the previous taboo status of homosexuality that kept generations of gays and lesbians in the closet has likewise lost ground in the ongoing culture wars in America. Openly gay and lesbian celebrities such as Elton John, Ellen DeGeneres and Rosie ODonnell are now warmly embraced throughout the heartland as well as in the Meccas of gay American culture, New York and San Francisco. Though one might safely assume that time and changing social norms will eventually resolve the matter to the liking of the gay community and their supporters, I would suggest that both sides consider a compromise that recognizes the desire for expanded civil and legal rights in the gay community while respecting time-honored and traditional views of marriage. The separation of church and state is the point from which a compromise should be launched. Gay activists protest that the ban on same-sex marriage is an enforcement of religious dogma via governmental power. Meanwhile, defenders of traditional marriage insist that gay marriage would undermine the foundation of society and would equate societal endorsement of an alternative lifestyle that is both sinful and destructive in the opinion of many among their ranks. The compromise lies in the removal of state involvement in the religious institution of marriage and the wedding sacrament. In place of issuing marriage licenses, the state would issue certificates of civil union. Certificates would then be signed and validated in conjunction with an appearance or ceremony before a judge or any executive branch elected official. Like the former marriage license, they would then be recorded with the appropriate local authority. Meanwhile, churches would then be empowered to issue marriage certificates to whoever they wished. They would also be free to decline to marry anyone at their discretion without fear of legal recrimination. Accordingly, a court would not be able to compel a church to marry a couple it had originally turned away nor would it risk loosing its tax-exempt status for following the dictates of its religious doctrine. Should couples married in a church service wish to formally record their union, they would be able to do so with the local registrar authority at their discretion. The heart of the compromise is the extension of legal and civil rights to an excluded segment of society while honoring a religious institution that is sacrosanct to another. As one infamous Los Angelino so famously asked, cant we all just get along, faithful readers? Stay tuned for further updates as events warrant and we see if civil unions guarantees the maintenance of civil society.