Thursday, April 30, 2009

Law professor Nancy Polikoff asks whether renaming "marriage" for the purpose of state recognition would abolish marriage

04/30/09 Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage:

American University Law Professor Nancy Polikoff says that it never occurred to her that "that keeping a distinct legal status for couples, but renaming that status for all couples to reflect the modern values of partnership, would appear to anyone as indistinguishable from the abolition of marriage." However, this legal reform would have the effect of reserving marriage to an exclusively religious institution. That outcome will not satisfy (would-be) spouses who believe that state recognition of marriage confers an essential, intangible benefit that transcends the bundle of legal rights, duties and benefits of marriage. So far, the "marriage"-substitution proposal, though raised during the Prop. 8 oral arguments, has received little popular support.

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