Jyl J. Josephson on “Just Married: Same-Sex Couples, Monogamy and the Future of Marriage”

A Discussion of Stephen Macedo’s Just Married: Same-Sex Couples, Monogamy and the Future of Marriage

by Scott Barclay, Joseph J. Fischel, and Jyl J. Josephson

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Obergefell v. Hodges, that the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution forbids legal discrimination against same-sex marriage. The decision sent shock waves throughout the country, with both supporters and opponents regarding it as signal of dramatic shifts in public opinion and a revolutionary development on the road to sex-gender equality. Just two days earlier, on June 24, 2015, Stephen Macedo’s Just Married: Same-Sex Couples, Monogamy, and the Future of Marriage was published. Macedo has always worked at the intersection of legal theory, normative theory, and public policy, and Just Married offers a nuanced liberal democratic defense of marriage equality with striking resonance in light of Obergefell. We have thus invited a range of scholars on LGBT rights, and LGBT politics more generally, to comment on his book.

jyljosephsonJyl J. Josephson, Rutgers University-Newark

The Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges has left many of us thinking about what Stephen Macedo says is the main question of this book: “what’s next for marriage?” (12). Organized around three questions, each of which take up three chapters: “Why same-sex marriage? Why marriage? Why monogamy?” (13), the book takes its cues from conservative opposition to same-sex marriage. So the real question of the book seems to be “what’s next for conservative arguments for marriage?” There is much that is useful here, and much that is left on the table at the end of the book—which is to say that on such a broad topic, no book, as Macedo notes, can address all of the important questions.

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Perspectives on Politics / Volume 14, Issue 3  / September 2016