Monday, October 04, 2010

A.S. Haley: An Important New Paper on Marriage

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Professor Robert George, of Princeton University, has co-authored with his colleague, Professor Sherif Girgis, and Professor Ryan T. Amderson, of Notre Dame, a very cogent paper on the topic: "What Is Marriage?" (The paper will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. It may be downloaded as a pdf from this page.)

In their paper, the authors take on -- and systematically demolish -- many of the standard "cases" for full-fledged recognition of same-sex marriage. (The article uses the word "marriage" in its traditional sense, as the civilly and religiously recognized union of one man with one woman, for life. The authors have no quarrel with state-sanctioned "civil unions" between people of the same gender -- except that they can find no logical bar to allow such unions between other willing people as well, which have until now been regarded as illegal: if they are all right for same-sex couples, why not allow "civil unions" for polygamous and polyandrous relationships, or for incestuous unions of same-sex siblings, which could not result in unhealthy offspring? The fact that there is no principled way to draw the line on just unions of same-sex couples is at the same time an additional reason not to abandon the traditional recognition given to heterosexual marriage.) the rest


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