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Friday, July 2, 2004

Challenges for gay marriage advocates.

Geov Parrish, writing for Working Assets's on-line progressive activism magazine WorkingForChange, looks closely at the serious concerns of gay-marriage opponents. Unlike some on the left, he doesn't just shout "Bigot!" and move on. He thinks opponents have some legitimate concerns — which gay marriage advocates can address if they put their minds to it. So check out "The Non-Fanatic Case Against Gay Marriage" (6.22.04).

The crux of the issue Parrish identifies is something I've flagged before: a liberal tendency to embrace a quasi-libertarian view of marriage — the "contract law model" — which regards marriage as little more than a private contract between two individuals rather than as a social institution in which the state and society have a legitimate stake. This view says that the state shouldn't show any preferences for one sort of relationship over any other, and that consequently, in the long run, "marriage" should be regarded as just one among a variety of equally valued relationship patterns, with no legally or socially distinctive status.

If you're looking for other approaches — and if you're a religious liberal, you really should — I recommend three sources as starting places:

If you find other good resources, let me know.

Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 2 July 2004 at 6:01 PM

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Steve Caldwell:

July 3, 2004 12:56 AM | Permalink for this comment

The Case for Same-Sex Marriage: From Sexual Liberty to Civilized Commitment by William N. Eskridge Jr. Eskridge addresses most of the secular conservative "slippery slope" concerns from a conservative perspective that also promotes same-sex marriage.

Same Sex Marriage: A Christian Ethical Analysis by Marvin M. Ellison ... with additional info here, here, here, here, and here. Ellison looks at the "slippery slope" issues from a liberation theology perspective. Ellison also address some of these concerns in his earlier book, Erotic Justice: A Liberating Ethic of Sexuality.

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