On the Legal Validation of Sexual Relationships
Valparaiso University School of Law
December 1, 2010
THE JURISPRUDENCE OF MARRIAGE AND OTHER INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS, Scott FitzGibbon, Lynn Wardle, A. Scott Loveless, eds., William S. Hein & Co. Inc., 2010
Working within a liberal political paradigm, one that privileges freedom and equality while eschewing the inculcation of moral excellence for its own sake, this essay will make two proposals: first, that certain same-sex unions should be legally validated, and second, that certain different-sex unions should no longer be legally valid. The former would seem fairly unproblematic, while the latter may be useful as a political compromise despite its possible costs.
More important than either proposal, however, will be the conceptual clarity (regarding the public interest in marriage) achieved en route to them. The essay radically rethinks the same-sex marriage debate. For example, it argues that the principles of liberty and equality ordinarily cut against the recognition of same-sex unions, but that the future needs of children may cut in favor of the recognition of such unions.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 25
Keywords: same-sex marriage, gay marriage, homosexual marriage, civil unions, elder marriage, same-sex adoption, gay adoption, homosexual adoption, validation, invalidation, non-validation, prohibition, nature, liberal thought, libertarian, liberty, equality, fairness, Scalia, Lawrence v. Texas, Rawls, Kant
JEL Classification: B25, B30, B31, D63, H00, H41, I18, I31, J12, J18, J70, J71, J72, K10, K14, K19, K39, Z10
Date posted: December 5, 2010