KiwiNZ: We could take Govt out of the marriage /union stuff and have that a couple just announces to anyone listening that hence fourth they are a partnership. It would make a lot of other stuff a nightmare like administering the Social Security Act especially section 63.
This isn't a bad point. The de-facto partnership laws should/could cover the legal aspects, and Marriage could be simply left as a social custom.
I guess again this would effect legal recognition overseas tho.