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.

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