What is Marriage?

What-is-Marriage
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The Supreme Court will soon pronounce upon the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, which amended that state’s constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act that was enacted into law in 1996 under then President Bill Clinton. This conversation with Ryan Anderson, co-author with Sherif Girgis and Robert George of the recently published What is Marriage?, engages the philosophical argument that there is a natural form to marriage which has been instantiated by the western legal tradition in various ways. This lively conversation debates the most basic questions on this subject in a serious and respectful manner. Don’t miss it.

Ryan Anderson

Ryan T. Anderson is the the Editor of Public Discourse: Ethics, Law, and the Common Good.

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Comments

  1. SALEEMULHAQ HAQ says

    MARRIAGE IS A LEGAL CONTRACT BETWEEN A MALE AND A FEMALE, SO THE MARRIAGE BETWEEN TWO MALE ( SAME SEX ) SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED AT ANY PORTION OF THE WORLD.

  2. Amicus Curiae says

    Saleemmulhaq, you make a faulty assumption in your statement that “marriage is a legal contract between a male and a female”, as if that is the only possible manifestation of such a legal construct. From a legal standpoint (I’m not talking religion here), a binding contract can be between any number of parties that the state deems to be acceptable, to regulate any sort of relationship the state deems to be acceptable.

    So essentially, to this point, the assumption on the part of the state–because it was following in established custom (which is not the same as the universe of potential possibilities), which was based on religious practices–was that marriage was between a man and a woman. Fast forward to the 21st century, and we can define the contract to be between any two (or more, if it came to that) entities we choose to define it as.

    On another unrelated note, we are talking strictly in the United States here. Unless you’re hankering for a U.N.-governed world, there is no global law-making authority. Don’t expect one any time soon, either.

    Q.E.D.

    • Jeff Reynolds says

      Here’s a VERY SIMPLE solution to the same sex marriage dilemma.

      1. NATURAL LAW defines marriage between ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN. Humans have prostituted this in the name of TOLERANCE! PERIOD!

      2. The GOVERNMENT needs to disassociate themselves from the equation. Let the states decide, and if need be, let these people apply for a CIVIL UNION LICENSE and provide them the same benefits as heterosexual couples…PERIOD! Tax forms are already listing “Domestic Partnerships” on the respective tax forms… LEAVE MARRIAGE ALONE!!!

  3. Tim Wright says

    Hi Jeff,

    I live in the UK and we have had civil partnerships for many years. It didn’t matter. The homosexual community wanted Gay Marriage and recently the govt approved a bill that allows Gays to marry. So we know have it.

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