Get this: "Marriage is such an important choice that it may not be arbitrarily denied by the government. Accordingly, they [the U.S. Supreme Court Justices in a unanimous decision] ordered that the government stop refusing marriage licenses to the group of Americans who had brought the case [Turner v. Safley]. That group of Americans was prisoners."
And this: "We have to make our way on our own, often after years of hostile socialization not only from society, but from the very institutions other minorities usually rely on for self-worth and solidarity, including even our own families. Gay kids often are most afraid of coming out to the very people other minorities count on for support and strength - their own parents and peers."
In the first quote, Evan is talking about the court case which put locked-up convicted felons ahead of the gays in terms of full citizenship. Yup, prisoners are full citizens; gays: no-way-Jose. In the second quote, Evan is talking about how gay marriage is very much a civil rights issue, he discusses what we can learn from the struggle of other minorities (African Americans, Jews, Latinos, etc.) and how these struggles are indeed similar to ours; even though we must avoid ranking suffering. We suffer too, daily, in a way that is different from the suffering endured by African Americans, Jews, Latinos, etc. -- the quote above offers a peek into one of the sadly unique ways in which we suffer.
These are the types of arguments and information you will read on Why Marriage Matters, a book written by Evan Wolfson, published in 2004. I actually met Evan briefly on a ride home from a gay function from my law school in Washington, D.C. He is smart and very personable.
I think everyone (especially us gays) must read this book. You might still don't believe equal marriage is the civil rights fight of our times, but you should, and this book will help you get there and do something about it. Evan's book helps us get our story straight, and help us talk about the gay question with friends and acquaintances effectively. And, you can get the book for under a dollar. Seriously. You must read it.