Bench Memos

Matt Franck on the SSM Debate

In his Public Discourse essay today, Matt Franck praises Debating Same-Sex Marriage—a new book co-authored by SSM proponent John Corvino and SSM opponent Maggie Gallagher—for “provid[ing] what are probably the best and the most complete arguments on either side of this momentous debate.”

Matt’s own powerful review (drawing on Gallagher’s arguments) provides a clear and succinct account of what is at stake: Whereas traditional marriage is the “institutional solution” to the “social problems” of how to civilize the children that heterosexual intercourse naturally generates, marriage for same-sex couples is “a solution in search of a problem.”

Worse, same-sex marriage “promises to create all sorts of new problems” for the “wounded institution” of marriage—divorcing it further from its mission of responsible procreation and from the supportive norms of fidelity, exclusivity, and permanence.

Further, building on Corvino’s own concessions, Matt explains: “A future in which same-sex marriage is enshrined in the law is a future without meaningful religious liberty, freedom of speech, or economic freedom for millions of Americans.”

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