I'd hardly call gay marriage 'special treatment'. It's the opposite: equal treatment. In that regard it's fundamentally different from, say, mandatory wheelchair-access laws.
> They absolutely need to have it called marriage, a word that has had a different religious meaning for hundreds of years.
The emotional baggage of religious conservatives isn't reason enough to deny gay couples an equal right to be officially partnered in the eyes of the law. 'Equal' includes the name of the arrangement.