[...] You don't even NEED to click on the article I will explain all this shit to you for the purposes of fruitful discussion.
First of all: thank you for the above. It really grinds my gears when the OP just leaves a link and tells people to discuss it, rather than raising the discussion on their own and leaving the link for reference.
Second, you mention your slight "anti-marriage bias", and I do think it shows a little in how you describe the whole thing. I sympathise with the idea you raise a bit further down in your post - the part about your co-worker probably "getting" relationships due to his current (well, former now) one being better than the earlier ones, rather than due to the marriage marker. Just like you describe some people being overly zealous about marriage, however, there are some people who I think tend to be a bit overly zealous against
marriage. Fine, religion aside it's hard to argue that being married would automagically make the relationship better than not being married. But it's not really doing any harm either, is it?
Which brings me to your questions.
1. Are you married? If yes, are you keen on it? Do you believe it's the RIGHT THING FOR EVERYONE and apply passive pressure to your unmarried friends to follow your lead, say the arcane words over the magic book, and exchange symbols?
Yes, married. Yes, keen on it. I'm a bureaucrat at heart, so officially registering things with the state gives me warm and fuzzy feelings, and in the case of my marriage this is multiplied by my likewise warm and fuzzy feelings for my wife. As for the arcane words and magic book - there is such a thing as a secular wedding. True to my bureaucratic nature, I was wedded by a municipal public servant. When you put it like you did above, though, a magic wedding would also have been super cool.
2. If you're a believer in the institution, do you believe it imparts greater significance, staying power, or affection to a relationship that did not undertake the ritual?
Yes. You're legally binding yourself to this person in a manner that you aren't if you're not getting married. Getting married is telling the government (and other relevant parts of society, such as banks) that they can, when it isn't contrary to principles of equality, justice and whatnot, treat you as one person rather than two, because you're doing everything together anyway.
Refusal to get married signifies, to me, that you aren't ready to make such a commitment to this person. This doesn't mean I'll scoff at people who don't get married, but it does make me assume that they live more "separately" than I would think if they were married. Note that I am well aware that this doesn't hold water in all cases, but there's enough theoretical basis here for me to form a deductive hypothesis for the general case.
3. Do you get stroppy/angry if you feel someone is disrespecting the institution or does not hold it in the same sacred high regard as you? Visa versa? Why?
I generally don't get angry at things, but I also generally think it's rude when people disrespect things. Other than that, no. I might not understand their way of thinking, but that probably goes for a lot of their other beliefs as well. Marriage is not special to me in this regard.
4. Is marriage a fundamentally conservative institution? Is it becoming a "battleground" issue due to the omnipresent and extremely tiresome partisan debate between "left and right"?
I don't think it's fundamentally conservative in that it would be innately
so, but it certainly carries certain historical baggage that makes it reproduce certain old-timey traits of society. That baggage is periodically misplaced and replaced, however, so wait a hundred years and it'll probably look different. That said, some parts of it are more firmly entrenched than others - I imagine we're a long way from marriage promoting open relationships and free love, for instance.
5. I'm making Cajun chicken wraps does anyone have any good tasty/healthy recipes they want to share I'm cool for some tips gotta shake it up a bit.
Overall, I think you raised a few interesting questions here. Some of them I haven't really thought about before, so this gave me an interesting opportunity to examine my beliefs. I would therefore also like to close with the thought that one potential development of the concept (marriage, that is) would perhaps be to not
limit it to people who are generally assumed to have a sexual relationship. As Saelune pointed out, for instance, the best marriage candidates are probably people who are best friends with each other - rather than people who just feel physically attracted to each other. So basically, it'd probably be neat if marriage was, a hundred years from now, something you went into with your best buddy rather than your bedmate (who may also be your best buddy, in which case they'd be a good candidate for marriage from that angle).