Feel free to start a different thread about the specific topic and your notion of removing those barriers. It would make for an interesting discussion, I think. It would have a large effect on the criminal justice system.
One of you will end up here next!
Not in many states, as quite a few of them when banning Civil Marriage also banned state recognition of "marriage like" contracts as not to be recognized.
For example here is Virginia's Constitution:
"Section 15-A. Marriage.
That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions. This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage."
.The states which currently ban gay marriage and civil unions are: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.
“And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.”
~ James Madison, letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822
You should read the bolded part again, it says that the state will not create "or recognize".
All contracts exist within state law, that's how contracts are enforced. If two parties enter into a contract and one decides not up uphold their portion of the contract, the offended party sues the delinquent party in court. Courts are function of government (i.e. the state).