Once you hand any institution over to the government, you are kissing goodbye to any values or virtue. I believe the only way to get government out of marriage is to bypass the government. The best way to do that is with a legal contract and dispense with the government certificate. That doesn't mean you can't go to your local church and have a "wedding" or whatever you call it. You can. As for the idea of American values, parents can teach them just as well with or without a government certificate.