A recently released book, "Marriage and Same-Sex Unions: A Debate," edited by Brigham Young University law professor Lynn D. Wardle and William C. Duncan, executive director of the Marriage and Family Law Research Grant at BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School, contains a dialogue on the legal status of marriage and current proposals to redefine marriage.
Wardle and Duncan co-edited the anthology with Mark Strasser of Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio, and David Orgon Coolidge of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
The anthology clarifies pro and con arguments in the dispute over the legal definition of marriage and explores historical and legal issues related to the current controversy on this subject.
"Marriage and Same-Sex Unions: A Debate" pairs authors with contrasting views of particular issues and provides each author a chance to respond to the paired author. The editors intend that this approach will contribute to a high quality, civil dialogue over a crucial public policy question that affects the family in America.
Contributors include professors from Yale, Princeton, New York University, the University of Illinois, Creighton University, University of Southern California, Northwestern, Emory and other universities.
Wardle's chapter in the book describes the "relationship" movement and suggests flaws in the recent attempts to create new legal alternatives to marriage, such as domestic partnerships.
Duncan criticizes attempts to construe state constitutions to establish a right to redefine marriages to include same-sex couples.
BYU law professor Richard G. Wilkins also contributed a chapter describing the constitutional justifications for retaining the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
"Marriage and Same-Sex Unions: A Debate" is published by Praeger Publishers.
Writer: Elizabeth B. Jensen