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Bench Memos

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A Swing and a Miss in the Marriage Debate



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At Slate, NYU law prof Kenji Yoshino winds up for a big swing against the “What Is Marriage?” article recently published by Girgis, George, and Anderson (henceforth GG&A)–he is particularly bothered by the sports metaphors the authors use–but he utterly fails to connect.  Yoshino doesn’t meet the logic of GG&A’s arguments, and really attempts no refutation at all.  Instead, after misreading what GG&A have to say about the marriages of childless or infertile couples, Yoshino complains that–on the basis of his misreading–GG&A have “demeaned” couples who have no children, or intend to have none, and even those who have adopted children.  Of course, even if he were reading GG&A correctly, Yoshino would still not be meeting the substance of their argument, only complaining about its implications.  But he hasn’t even any grounds for his whining.

Bottom line: Yoshino provides nothing–nothing at all–by way of an argument for including gay couples in the institution of marriage.  For he provides no alternative answer to the question Girgis, George, and Anderson propound: What Is Marriage?  Is this the best pro-gay-marriage folks can do?



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