Bench Memos

Marriage Debate Update

The authors of “What Is Marriage” have now replied at Public Discourse to a renewed attempt by Prof. Kenji Yoshino of NYU to explode their argument.  Yoshino’s second attempt was more serious than his first, but also more revealing of the relativistic radicalism at the heart of the movement to redefine marriage.  Turns out you can “redefine” marriage without actually defining it at all!

If you want to start at the beginning of this important debate, here are its parts so far:

1. Sherif Girgis, Robert P. George, and Ryan T. Anderson (hereafter GG&A), “What Is Marriage?” in the latest issue of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, posted at SSRN on 11 December.

2. Kenji Yoshino, “The Best Argument Against Gay Marriage: And Why It Fails,” Slate, 13 December.

3.  GG&A, “The Argument Against Gay Marriage: And Why It Doesn’t Fail,” Public Discourse, 17 December.

4. Andrew Koppelman, “What Marriage Isn’t,” Balkinization, 18 December.

5. GG&A, “Marriage: Merely a Social Construct?Public Discourse, 29 December.

6. Barry Deutsch, “What Is Bodily Union? (A response to What Is Marriage?),” Family Scholars, 21 December.

7. GG&A, “Marriage: Real Bodily Union,” Public Discourse, 30 December.

8. Kenji Yoshino, “Lose the Baseball Analogy,” Slate, 21 December.

9. GG&A, “Marriage: No Avoiding the Central Question,” Public Discourse, 3 January.

I think I can safely say that Girgis, George, and Anderson’s arguments are still standing, while those of their critics have fallen pretty flat.

 

 

 

 

Matthew J. Franck is the Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey.

Most Popular

Film & TV

A Sad Finale

Spoilers Ahead. Look, I share David’s love of Game of Thrones. But I thought the finale was largely a bust, for failings David mostly acknowledges in passing (but does not allow to dampen his ardor). The problems with the finale were largely the problems of this entire season. Characters that had been ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Great Misdirection

The House Democrats are frustrated, very frustrated. They’ve gotten themselves entangled in procedural disputes with the Trump administration that no one particularly cares about and that might be litigated for a very long time. A Washington Post report over the weekend spelled out how stymied Democrats ... Read More
World

Australia’s Voters Reject Leftist Ideas

Hell hath no fury greater than left-wingers who lose an election in a surprise upset. Think Brexit in 2016. Think Trump’s victory the same year. Now add Australia. Conservative prime minister Scott Morrison shocked pollsters and pundits alike with his victory on Saturday, and the reaction has been brutal ... Read More