THE STORIES OF MARRIAGE
AbstractThe gay and lesbian community's response to California's Proposition 8 was strong and quick. Within days of the 2008 election, opponents of the measure had targeted its proponents, in particular the Mormon Church, as subjects for scorn. Singling out the Mormon Church on this issue was particularly ironic because to the extent that members of the Mormon Church were responsible for the success of Proposition 8, they simply did to the gay community what courts of the United States consistently did to their forebears: defined away their right to marry. In striking down individuals' rights to enter into polygamous marriages, courts said that polygamy was not marriage and that monogamy was marriage, but they expended little energy explaining why. This article does not condone either the forceful effort to pass Proposition 8 or the counter-response from the gay community, but it will argue that part of the problem that same-sex marriage ("SSM") advocates encounter stems from the failure of courts to explain what marriage is. It is very hard to talk about a right to marry without a common understanding of why states license marriage. In the end, this article will offer a definition of marriage which suggests that marriage can be beneficial to the state, beneficial to the couple, and integrated into the rich social history of marriage without necessarily being gendered. In order to understand why this proffered story is important, the article first evaluates the marriage narratives that have been told to date in the SSM debate and shows how those stories have fared as constitutional claims.
How to Cite
. THE STORIES OF MARRIAGE. Journal of Law and Family Studies, [S.l.], v. 12, n. 1, mar. 2010. Available at: <http://epubs.utah.edu/index.php/jlfs/article/view/282>. Date accessed: 25 feb. 2018.
Copyright Utah Law Review All Rights Reserved.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).