Formal Marriage

60 Saint Louis University Law Journal 671 (2016)

25 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2016 Last revised: 20 Apr 2018

See all articles by Jeffrey A. Redding

Jeffrey A. Redding

University of Melbourne - Law School

Abstract

The aftermath of two recent and widely-anticipated United States Supreme Court decisions, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Obergefell v. Hodges, has been as noteworthy as most people anticipated, and quite literally so. Indeed, after Hobby Lobby and Obergefell, paper forms — notes of a sort — have become a new and hotly contested frontier in mediating the relationship between religion and state in the United States. In several ways, the emerging constitutional and legal concern with paper forms in the domain of religion-state relations is surprising, and calls out for exploration and explanation.

This Article aims to account for the emerging constitutional and legal concern with paper forms, especially in the context of marriage rights in the United States. The goal of this Article’s exploration of 'formal marriage' is twofold, namely to explain how it is that marriage rights in the United States have suddenly become a matter of formal dispute and, relatedly, to elucidate what — besides paper, stamps, and signatures — is represented in these new controversies concerning marriage formalities. The key explanation that this Article offers for this formal turn in marriage disputing is dependent on a reframing of marriage rights, seeing in these rights less an understanding of (and dispute about) marriage as dignity but, instead, marriage as money.

Keywords: Obergefell, Hobby Lobby, Kim Davis, marriage, gay, lesbian, dignity

Suggested Citation

Redding, Jeffrey A., Formal Marriage. 60 Saint Louis University Law Journal 671 (2016), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2879475

Jeffrey A. Redding (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

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