The Dilution Problem and Other Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage: How Persuasive Are They?

41 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2013

See all articles by David Crump

David Crump

University of Houston Law Center

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

This paper analyzes contentions against same-sex marriage. It does not, however, take any ultimate position for or against proposals about the subject, and it limits itself to legislative as opposed to judicial arguments. More specifically, the paper considers the rights and symbolism that surround the union of marriage. It also considers how generalized and unexplained appeals to equality and discrimination affect the arguments about same-sex marriage. Then, the paper explains and analyzes a dilution argument against same-sex marriage. This analogy to trademark dilution suggests ways in which same-sex marriage might be said to dilute the symbolic value of traditional marriage and to affect the interests that persons in traditional marriages have in the symbols that it provides. The paper also explains and develops other arguments, including those related to establishment of religion, impairment of free exercise, procreation, and implications for other types of unions. The paper ultimately concludes that these other arguments are not as substantial as the dilution concern. The paper also analyzes the ways in which same-sex marriage advocates might attempt to respond to the dilution concern.

Keywords: same-sex marriage, marriage, symbolism of marriage, traditional marriage, establishment of religion, dilution problem

Suggested Citation

Crump, David, The Dilution Problem and Other Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage: How Persuasive Are They? (2011). Ave Maria Law Review, Vol. 9, No. 2, p. 221, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2235788

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