I was reading through the diary entry and post of one of the others here, and one of the respondents had asked the diarist to make a conservative arguement for "gay marriage" without using typical liberal talking points, getting into the religion conundrum, or just being downright insulting to social conservatives.
My first point is for all of us to accept a definition of conservatism as if the choice is between more government or less government, less government is always better. Lets also accept that as conservatives we would be against any other type of discrimination where the availability of rights for one would not be available to someone else. If these two things hold true, then it would be the conservative point of view that some legal recognition of these homesexual relationships should be recognized so that there is an equitable way for these couples to do things like transfer property upon death, name insurance beneficiaries, hospital visitation, etc.
The questions becomes what we call it. And that is where I too am a little leery of the marriage title. My main reservation about the label is what can be done with that label once it is given to a homosexual couple in whatever state where they want to give that title. For example, once a homosexual couple gets a marriage license what stops them from going to the local churh and insisting that the church marry them, and when that church doesn't because of their 1st amendment rights, that church gets locked into litigation which could bring that church down because they are going against the unlimited resources of the ACLU.
So where do we go from this point. Personally, I would have no problem with a state deciding to recognize these unions as marriage, with the caveat that they would have no right to approach a church, synagogue, mosque, or recognized house of worship to force them to give a religious blessing to the union. I would go as far as criminalize the ability to sue said religious institution so that our courts would never get bogged down with the cases.