Using the general term or expressing opposition to “same-sex marriage” implies it is actually a legal institution. People are surprised to learn it is not.
Same-sex couples are permitted to marry under civil law, but that was accomplished by redefining what marriage is. Effectively “one man and one woman” was deleted, and “two people” was inserted.
Since there is no such thing as “same-sex marriage” in the law, technically when people oppose “same-sex marriage” they are opposing something that does not exist. On one level, opposing something that does not exist is not very helpful if our goal is to restore the reality of marriage. Our opposition is to redefinition of marriage.
On a more basic level, when one man and one woman were qualifications for civil marriage, it formed the only civil institution that was specifically geared to unite children with their mother and father. Changing the qualifications redefined what civil marriage is, eliminating it as the foundation of the regular family that has children with their own mom and dad united in marriage.
The term "same-sex marriage" applies to individuals, not to a legal institution. So when someone opposes "same-sex marriage" in general, they are really opposing individuals taking advantage of a civil right and its related benefits: a civil right created in law for same sex couples. Therefore, opposition to "same-sex marriage" appears to be discriminatory against specific people. Additionally, our real concern, the redefinition of marriage and its consequences, becomes lost in the misunderstanding and conflict that will surely follow.
The current marriage law has unjust consequences, one of which effectively requires teaching and promoting, especially to children, the idea that marriage is just a life-style choice for adults and has nothing to do with children or family. The corollary teaches young people that having more families with children deprived of their mother and father united in marriage is a good thing. That’s a bold lie.
The best way to protest is to avoid using the term "same-sex marriage" or expressing opposition to it. That is a difficult habit to break. Instead, keep yourself and others laser-focused on what we are for: reestablishing a privileged civil institution that is specifically geared to unite children with their own mother and father. This expresses one man, one woman marriage by another description: a description that makes the fullness of the meaning and purpose of marriage reality apparent to all and without conflict.