This week a study came out that shows how unilateral divorce laws make divorce more frequent. The empirical research shows what any sensible person would already guess — easy divorce laws make for more divorces. This is only magnified by the fact the divorcing party usually has great incentives to divorce and few incentives to stay (independent of whatever marital problems may exist). The fact that this is even a debate in academia shows how politicized and irrational the academy has become. Sure, there are plenty of other reasons to divorce that also drive the high rate of marriage failures, but government incentivizes failure, not success. That certainly doesn't help.
Add into this debate on divorce law the current debate on gay marriage. With easy divorce, marriage has been demoted to the status of a contract. If it's just a meaningless contract, why can't any combination of participants enter into it? A good question that cannot be easily answered when framed that way.
First off, marriage in this society (independent of its religious roots) is not even a contract. Contracts are designed to be enforceable in the event of a breach. Divorce rewards the breaching party most of the time. None of the terms of marriage are enforceable in any real way. There are no options for a spouse to rein in an adulterous partner and the few laws still on the books against adultery are waiting to be declared unconstitutional.
Further, easy divorce ends up putting the entire lives of the parties into the public record and under the control of a judge. One can walk to any courthouse in this country and start reading detailed accounts of broken marriages. Judges have tremendous power to allocate assets, assign living arrangements, and exercise large amounts of control over the parties. This should greatly worry any libertarian.
One wonders why gay people want a piece of that action. Straight couples are putting off marriage because many wonder if it's really worth all the risk. Gay couples certainly aren't immune from divorce either. Marriage is a loaded term devoid of any meaning behind it. It appears that gay marriage is an attempt at social acceptance, not any desire for benefits. Any real look at marriage shows that on the balance, marriage confers a net liability, not a net benefit.