49 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2006
In this article, I challenge the conventional left-liberal wisdom about the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health: that Justice Margaret Marshall's opinion for the court in the case - holding that the Massachusetts Constitution protects a constitutional right to marry that same-sex couples, just like cross-sex couples, are now free to enjoy - is and only is a stunning victory for lesbian and gay rights. Without doubting the decision may be just such a victory for some lesbians and gay men, I argue that the downstream consequences of Goodridge are far more varied and variegated than that simple story allows. In particular, from a sex equality perspective, I venture that Goodridge may well be expected to impose various costs on victims and survivors of sexual injury, both same-sexed and cross-sexed, including lesbians and gay men - costs that so-called "pro-gay" accounts of the decision have, so far, to their own detriment, been unable or unwilling to register.
Keywords: Lawrence, marriage, civil union
JEL Classification: J12, J16, J71, K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation