Does the word matter?

I think in the eyes of many Americans, tomorrow's second biggest vote is on California's proposition 8.  Prop 8 is a law to define marriage as between one man and one woman.  Regardless of which way the vote goes tomorrow, there is no doubt that California will have some sort of legal union for same-sex couples.  Civil unions amount to essentially the same thing as a marriage in the eyes of the state.  But there is one huge difference; it is not called marriage.  My question tonight is about this title.  What I'm asking is this, if the civil union legally gives all the same rights and protections to couples as a marriage, then why fight over the word?  I'll throw it to my readers, do you think the title "marriage" is important?  I do think it is important.  And obviously the opponents who have donated millions to see prop 8 fail think it's important.  Feel free to vote and to let me know in the comments why you hold your opinion. [polldaddy poll=1073365]

I considered writing an entire post about how I think the state should not be in the marriage business.  Marriage is a church function and should be handled by churches.  That would be futile, however, since the state is inextricably linked to marriage and is involved in nearly every aspect of it.  There is no question that the state has to have a clear definition of what it is and is not and therefore must be involved.