Mary!!! I haven't "seen" you in ages! How you been?
Hi Ken and Rob.
Where are we?...oh Gen Aps.
Yes, in some states Civil Unions have all the benefits of Marriage under the law.
Here is the answer to why do people who are not particularly religious get married in churches; the buildings are just made for weddings. Really. My first son got married in my old church, beautiful dark wood, stained glass windows, great sound, dark burgundy carpet, candles and vaulted ceilings and a large meeting/dinner area next door with full kitchen and large restrooms. The bride's family was Christian and so that made them more comfortable, even though the pastor was rather odd.
When my second son got married they both refused to get married in a church and had a awful time trying to find a suitable place...finally did find a great place, but we had to severely cut the guest list.
There it is.
Most atheists are willing to appease in-laws and their blood relatives who are believers in a deity, because we care about family. Appease isn't quite the word I mean...compromise? What ever keeps nearly everybody happy.
My daughter says she is having a family barbeque on our farm with a moon bounce. However, she is willing to have the ceremony in the little country church just before our lane, just so her daddy can walk her down the aisle. No electricity, no nothing and not much room.
Some things are more important than keeping to our evil atheist agenda.