If Americans would only recognize that marriage is not, in itself, a sacred institution, the Schindlers would have a vastly more legitimate claim to be their own daughter's next of kin.
But, as it is, the legal construct of the Schiavos' marriage ---which has become a meaningless bond in all practical senses--- is the very thing that is keeping Michael Schiavo in legal control of his "wife's" life.
The only thing that is sacred in any given marriage is the commitment between the two people in it ---regardless of gender. Absent that, what is there to it?
Michael Schiavo has a wife. A fully conscious one by whom he is a father to her two children. The legal guardianship of the severely brain-damaged Terri Schindler Schiavo should have reverted to her parents years ago.