From religion dispatches via Waldo, here's the core of it:
I no longer recognize marriage. It’s a new thing I’m trying.
Yesterday I called a woman’s spouse her boyfriend.She says, correcting me, “He’s my husband,”
“Oh,” I say, “I no longer recognize marriage.”
The impact is obvious. I tried it on a man who has been in a relationship for years,“How’s your longtime companion, Jill?”
“She’s my wife!”
“Yeah, well, my beliefs don’t recognize marriage.”
Fun. And instant, eyebrow-raising recognition. Suddenly the majority gets to feel what the minority feels. In a moment they feel what it’s like to have their relationship downgraded, and to have a much taken-for-granted right called into question because of another’s beliefs.
Just replace the words husband, wife, spouse, or fiancé with boyfriend, girlfriend, special friend, or longtime companion. There is a reason we needed stronger words for more serious relationships. We know it; now they can see it.
I have only one problem with this strategy: having been married myself for 17 years, I can't quite figure out how to go around telling people I no longer recognize marriage without risking a frying pan upside the head.
But I think it makes a tremendous point about the legitimacy being deprived certain American citizens.