David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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This article documents a global movement to legalize same-sex marriage, and argues that it jeopardizes both public and private interests in marriage. Legalization of same-sex marriage is correlated with dilution of the social meaning and significance of marriage, and with reduced public commitment to and support for families. The transformation of marriage by inclusion of relationships with different expectations, characteristics and moral behavior styles threatens the integrity, fidelity, and monogamy the social institution of marriage, as well as children and adults who invest in and depend upon marriage. The threat to civil rights of opponents of same-sex marriage is reviewed, and intimations of some renewal of respect for conjugal marriage in some regions of the world is noted, including the 137 nations that have adopted explicit constitutional provisions protecting marriage and/or family relations. Based on a paper that was presented at the World Congress of Families in Warsaw, Poland in 2007, this article opens and closes quoting "Night" by Elie Wiezel to emphasize the need to speak up (like Moishe the Beadle) and never be silent about perceived dangers. Three appendices track the growth of legalization of same-sex marriage and unions in nations and states, and list the national and state constitutional provisions protecting conjugal marriage and families.
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