It's the government's fault your marriage failed, trust me.
"When you get into bed with the government, you get more than a good night's sleep" --Ronald Reagan
Regardless of your position on the current multitude of marriage issues (out of control divorce rates, single parent families, gay marriage, taxes on marriage licenses, etc), I cannot think of any group, special interest, or person trying to legalize marriage with the government.
However, if the government defines marriage, then the institution of marriage will undergo the same lifecycle of every other government subsidy. Fortunately for me, Ronald Reagan defined this cycle. "If it moves tax it. If it keeps moving regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it."
Interestingly our government is taxing, regulating, and subsidizing marriage all at once, and as a result, marriage itself is suffering in the United States. The nefarious thing is that this grants the goverment huge control over the marriage, and it's assets, and creates a multi-billion dollar marriage/divorce legal industry, which the government can also tax. From prenuptuals to divorce court the institution of marriage is now as much about the government as it is about feelings shared by the two people getting married. Looking at the fiasco which is the modern American legal family, I'd be running away from the mess as fast as I could if I was gay. Before you disagree with me, I would challenge my gay friends to spend a day in divorce court.
For those who want to turn on their blinders, leave now, because I'm about to hit you with statistics (for my friends visiting divorce court, the number will still be here when you return, I promise). According to the CDC (divorce is now considered an epidemic), half of the people in the United States that get married get divorced. In 2007, marriages per 1000 people per year was 6.8/1000, divorce... 3.4/1000. Exactly half. According to another study, 48% of marriages involve a couple in which one or both partners has previously been married, which is 2.5x higher than 25 years ago. "Families & Intimate Relationships, 2005".
For my friends on the right who are wondering, same-sex marriages end in a higher incidence of divorce according to a study done in Norway and Sweden (both of which recognize homsexual marriage). Lesbian relationships were determined to be less stable than male homosexual relationships. Both (10% (male), and 16% (female)) were statistically higher than heterosexual relationships (8%). "Andersson, Gunnar; The Demographics of Same-Sex "Marriages“ in Norway and Sweden (February 2006)" However, all numbers were drastically lower than divorce rates in the United States.
So where does this leave us? Obviously our currently government mandated marriage system is broken, and everyone involved at a political level would rather throw mud than fix it. Perhaps if we they keep the issue around a few more election cycles we can demogauge the opposition one more time. Forget those who are suffering, because we have to get elected! Those of us that vote are the idiots that keep voting for this status quo. It's time for us to wise up. The government is simply incompetent to deal with an issue as delicate as marriage.