There's a lot to like about the Reason Foundation's new report, "The Argument for Equal Marriage". Its basic argument is:
1. Marriage has changed enormously over time. 2. Same-sex marriage is just another change, and on the scale of possible changes that can be made to "marriage", it is far less significant than changes that have already been made to the status of women. 3. "Traditional" marriage as defined by the monotheistic traditions has treated both women and gay people badly, and it is therefore not wise to use it as a basis for law or public policy.
As the report says,
Marriage has been put through the laundromat of the Enlightenment, two waves of feminism, and the civil rights movement: what we have now would be unrecognizable to Bracton or Blackstone or Jesus, and this is a good thing. If one were to isolate the greatest change in the definition of marriage over time, it would come down to a choice between the enactment of unilateral divorce (with its attendant effect on murder, suicide, and domestic violence rates) and the ending of coverture, granting women property rights in marriage and separate legal personality. Compared to these definitional shifts, equal marriage is peanuts.
Read the whole report. Last month I wrote for The Guardian that marriage, gay or straight, should be taken out of the hands of the state.