Thursday, January 6, 2011

What is marriage

An article entitled ‘What is Marriage’ appeared recently in the publication Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy (Vol. 34, No. 1, pp 245-287.  Winter 2010)
The joint authors of the article are Sherif Gircis, Ph.D. Candidate in Philosophy at Princeton University; Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University; and Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at the University of Notre Dame.    Legal arguments in relation to ‘Proposition 8’ (on same-sex ‘unions’) led to the writing of the article.
In an Abstract of the article, the authors argue that 

‘as a moral reality, marriage is the union of a man and a woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other of the type that is naturally fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together, and renewed by acts that constitute the behavioural part of the process of reproduction.  We further argue that there are decisive principled as well as prudential reasons for the state to enshrine this understanding of marriage in its positive law, and to resist the call to recognize as marriages the sexual unions of same-sex partners.
‘Besides making this positive argument for our position and raising several objections to the view that same-sex unions should be recognized, we address what we consider the strongest philosophical objections to our view of the nature of marriage, as well as more pragmatic concerns about the point or consequences of implementing it as a policy.’

Sounds an interesting read!  Politicians, lawyers, judges and others with an involvement in such matters, particularly in Ireland, please take note.   Listen to what these three experienced and sensible authors are saying, and do not regret not having done so.