Scott Barclay 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.

barclayheadshot2013Scott Barclay, Drexel University

Notwithstanding that it has three designated parts, Stephen Macedo’s book pursues two interconnected ideas. The first idea might be captured, somewhat facetiously, by the old quip “It works in practice, but will it work in theory?” Responding directly to the proliferation of state-sanctioned same-sex marriage and utilizing primarily the reasoning of judges in these marriage-equality cases as his foil, Macedo offers a well-researched, wide-ranging argument for the special role of marriage in democratic society and the ability of same-sex marriage to fit within this accepted role.

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