Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Marriage Equality: How I Changed My Mind

That's the title of a new post at ReligiousLeftLaw by University of St. Thomas law professor Charles Reid.  The post begins:

"From 2003 to early 2009, I wrote a series of historically-grounded papers that reached the common conclusion that marriage equality represented a radical departure from the western tradition of marriage and so, for that reason, should be rejected as a matter of public policy.  I have now changed my mind regarding this conclusion.  While there is no question that marriage equality represents a dramatic departure from what has gone before, I can now find support within our western tradition for expanding the definition of marriage to embrace loving, committed same-sex unions.

Let me begin with my professional background:  I am a lawyer and an historian.  These two sides of my brain co-exist in what I like to think is, for the most part anyways, a creative tension.  The lawyer side of my brain considers public policy issues in the urgency of the present.  The historian's training, however, summons me always to look at the deep picture, to appreciate what has come before, and it was this innate conservativism that long governed my instincts on marriage equality.  In my historical writings on the subject, I made essentially three arguments:  (1)  In the few instances in which same-sex marriage was debated on the historical record, it was rejected; (2)  a principal reason for this rejection, furthermore, was because marriage was about procreation, and only procreative relationships should therefore be recognized as marriage; and (3)  public policy should remain within these tightly-drawn boundaries, because any departure would be likely to result in arbitrary line-drawing."

The rest of the post, is here, where, if you want, you can comment.


Perry, Michael | Permalink


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Paging professor Hockett.

Posted by: CK | May 1, 2013 10:31:41 AM