Many folks have proposed the "government doesn't use the term marriage" thing. It has a few problems.
First of all, it's a bit like Lucy and the football that's she's holding for Charlie Brown to kick. You're effectively saying "sorry gay people - we really don't want you to have marriage, so we're going to take it away from everyone".
But the biggie: it's a tremendous amount of work to solve a non-problem. There are literally thousands thousands of laws, in literally thousands of jurisdictions, that reference marriage. We'd have to change all of these, and somehow convince people to start using a different terminology, to eliminate a confusion that doesn't exist. We already distinguish between the legal status filed at the county courthouse, and the ceremony that may or not be performed at a church.
I protested that this could create a conflict wherein a church could be sued for refusing to allow a gay couple to use the church for a wedding.
Not going to happen. In the US, the Westboro Baptist Church still has tax-exempt status. We still have freedom for religious groups as vile as that one, so churches that only refuse gay weddings won't be an issue.
I didn't rub it in the faces of my gay friends
Is that really the phrasing you wanted to use?