For that is what all these laws must first do: in order to sanction same-sex unions, the legislatures have to replace the traditional definition of marriage with a new one. Few are the legislators, however, who pause to analyze the pros and cons of such a move -- because the argument in favor of it is all about "rights" and "equality." Here is how Ryan Anderson introduces his response to that argument (from the adapted transcript of his remarks):
... It’s interesting that we’ve had a three-hour conversation about marriage without much by way of answering that question [of "what is marriage"?].Take the time to listen to the video, and also open up another tab and follow along with the transcript, if you like. You'll find it well worth your while (H/T: Stand to Reason blog):
Everyone in this room is in favor of marriage equality. We all want the law to treat all marriages equally. But the only way we can know whether any state law is treating marriages equally is if we know what a marriage is. Every state law will draw lines between what is a marriage and what isn’t a marriage. If those lines are to be drawn on principle, if those lines are to reflect the truth, we have to know what sort of relationship is marital, as contrasted with other forms of consenting adult relationships.
So, in the time I have today, I’ll answer three questions: what is marriage, why does marriage matter for public policy, and what are the consequences of redefining marriage?
As Anderson explains in this interview, Indiana is one of the few states left that is entertaining legislation on the subject, and he predicts the eventual divide will be 15 or so states that jettison the traditional definition of marriage, and 35 states that retain it.