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. That’s not very helpful if the goal is to restore the reality of marriage.
It is confusing because when a couple of the same sex marries under the law, it is called a “same-sex marriage.” As you can see, this use of the term applies to individuals, not a legal institution. So when someone opposes “same-sex marriage” in general, they are really opposing individuals taking advantage of a civil right and related benefits of marriage that has been granted to same sex couples. People take that opposition as a personal affront or an act of discrimination.
As a matter of conscience and religious belief it is right for people not to attend or to do anything that could be construed as endorsing or facilitating a same-sex marriage. However this should be done as diplomatically as possible. Using such an occasion to protest an unjust law will be misinterpreted by the couple and others as a personal slight for no real purpose. Like it or not, the couple is just exercising a civil right.
The current law is unjust because it requires teaching children that marriage is just a life-style choice for adults and has nothing to do with the reality of marriage. The best way to protest is to refuse to use the term “same-sex marriage” and expressing opposition to it. 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.