Beginning an interesting series of posts on the marriage debate, Austin Bramwell asks: “Do marriage traditionalists really want to deny same sex couples the right to enter into enforceable agreements for the sharing of property and income? Do advocates of marriage equality really want the government telling people what marriage norms they should adopt? My answer to both questions is no.”
That’s true of most normal people, but I don’t think it applies to the activists involved. The movement for same-sex marriage is designed to reshape marriage norms so that the broader society will be compelled to recognize same-sex couples as married. And while I think marriage traditionalists have been less interested in restricting the contract rights of same-sex couples, some defense-of-marriage amendments arguably would have that effect. Moreover, most social conservative activism on gay rights issues has been aimed at returning homosexuality to the marginal status it had as recently as the 1970s and ’80s — allowing supporters of same-sex marriage to frame the issue in a way that makes their success more likely.
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