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Transformational Marriage: How to End the Culture Wars Over Same-Sex Marriage

The Contested Place of Religion in Family Life (Cambridge University Press 2018) (Robin Fretwell Wilson, ed.), Forthcoming

57 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2017  

Robin Bradley Kar

University of Illinois College of Law

Date Written: October 8, 2017

Abstract

Recent developments toward the legalization of same-sex marriage in the West are often viewed as a triumph for secularism in a religious-secular culture war. That assumption foments ongoing division and hostility between some committed religious observers and some LGBT persons and their supporters.

The assumption is also wrong. The recent legalization of same-sex marriage in the West has underappreciated religious and spiritual causes and potential. It is the partial result of the historical emergence of a love-based social institution of marriage in the West. These developments, which began in the 17th to 18th centuries, further allowed for the emergence of what this article calls "transformational marriage". Given the development of transformational marriage, there are now weighty reasons - both religious and secular - to support these marriages among anyone who chooses to enter into them. Debates over same-sex marriage should be removed from the contemporary religious-secular culture wars.

To show this, this chapter offers a blend of religious, scriptural, moral, secular and psychological arguments, which provide a basis for previously opposing camps to reach an "overlapping consensus" on the value of transformative marriage for all people. An overlapping consensus is the polar opposite of a religious-secular culture war: it is a consensus that can be affirmed, for different reasons, by the opposing religious, philosophical and moral doctrines likely to thrive over generations in a more or less just constitutional democracy. Hence, there are good reasons for people of good faith on all sides of this conflict to support the development of this overlapping consensus and remove the issue of same-sex marriage from the culture wars.

Suggested Citation

Kar, Robin Bradley, Transformational Marriage: How to End the Culture Wars Over Same-Sex Marriage (October 8, 2017). The Contested Place of Religion in Family Life (Cambridge University Press 2018) (Robin Fretwell Wilson, ed.), Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3049650

Robin Bradley Kar (Contact Author)

University of Illinois College of Law ( email )

504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.uiuc.edu/faculty-admin/directory/RobinKar

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