Same-Sex Marriage and Equality

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (5):589-595 (2011)
Abstract
Some argue that same-sex marriage is not an equal rights issue because, where same-sex marriage is illegal, heterosexuals and homosexuals have the exact same right to marry—i.e., the right to marry one adult of the opposite sex. I dispute this argument by pointing out that while societies that prohibit same-sex marriage equally permit individual heterosexuals and homosexuals to marry one adult of the opposite sex, same-sex couples in such societies are denied an important right that opposite-sex couples enjoy—i.e., the right to marry. I argue that the right to marry is fundamentally, not an individual right, but a couple’s collective right, analogous to assembly rights
Keywords Same-sex marriage  Equality  Discrimination  Individual rights  Collective rights  Marriage rights
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-010-9261-8
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