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What's the Harm?

Does Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Really Harm Individuals, Families or Society?

Edited by Lynn D. Wardle - Contributions by Martha Bailey; A Dean Byrd; Allan Carlson; Dale Carpenter; Jason S. Carroll; Bryce Christensen; Louis DeSerres; David C. Dollahite; William C. Duncan; Scott FitzGibbon; Edwin Gantt; Marianne M. Jennings; Lynne Marie Kohm; Charles J. Reid Jr.; Charles J. Russo; Vincent J. Samar; Roger Severino; Mark Strasser and Seana Sugrue

Paperback
What's the Harm? is an interdisciplinary collection of perspectives on the question of harm—whether legalizing same-sex marriage will cause harm to society, and whether the denial of same-sex marriage causes harm to society. This clarifying and illuminating book explores the societal, familial, individual, and jurisprudential harms of the legalization or prohibition of same-sex marriage. The contributors wrestle with the "what's the harm" question from a variety of academic and professional perspectives, emphasizing the significance and impact of legalizing same-sex marriage for law, government, family relations, and child welfare. What's the Harm? is a valuable resource of diverse insights, arguments, and information that contributes to a deeper understanding of what may be the defining issue of the first decade of the twenty-first century. « less more »
University Press of America
Pages: 406Size: 6 x 9 1/8
978-0-7618-4316-0 • Paperback • August 2008 • $64.99 • (£44.95)
Lynn D. Wardle is the Bruce C. Hafen Professor of Law at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He is a past-President (2000-2002) of the International Society of Family Law, now serves on the ISFL Executive Council, and is a member of the American Law Institute.
Chapter 1 Acknowledgements
Chapter 2 "What's The Harm?" And Why It Matters
Part 3 PART I: DOES LEGALIZING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE HARM FAMILIES AND CHILDREARING?
Chapter 4 1: Conjugal Marriage Fosters Healthy Human and Societal Development
Chapter 5 2: The Alleged Harms of Recognizing Same-Sex Marriage
Chapter 6 3: "Who's My Daddy?" How the Legalization of Same-Sex Partnerships Would Further the Rise of Ambiguous Fatherhood in America
Chapter 7 4: Unintended Consequences: The Flaws in "It Doesn't Affect Anyone But Us" Argument in Favor of Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage
Chapter 8 5: What's the Harm to Women and Children? A Prospective Analysis
Chapter 9 6: Same-Sex Marriage and the Rights of the Child
Part 10 PART II: DOES LEGALIZING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE HARM RESPONSIBLE SEXUAL BEHAVIOR AND PROCREATION?
Chapter 11 7: The Principles of Justice in Procreative Affiliations
Chapter 12 8: Dwelling Among Us
Chapter 13 9: Meaning, Morality, and Sexual Attraction: Questioning the Reductive and Deterministic Assumptions of Biologism and Social Constructionism
Chapter 14 10: Sexual Virtue, Sexual Vice, and the Requirements of the Good Society: Lessons from Ancient Rome
Part 15 PART III:DOES LEGALIZING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE HARM THE RELATIONSHIP AND MEANING OF MARRIAGE?
Chapter 16 11: The Morality of Marriage and the Transformative Power of Inclusion
Chapter 17 12: The Case for Treating Same-Sex Marriage As A Human Right and the Harm of Denying Human Dignity
Chapter 18 13: Equality or Ideology? Same-Sex Unions in Scandinavia
Chapter 19 14: Same-Sex Marriage As Verbacide: Reaffirming the Linguistic and Cultural Heritage that Once Made "Marriage" a Vibrant Word of Substance and Hope
Part 20 PART IV:DOES LEGALIZING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE HARM BASIC HUMAN FREEDOMS AND INSTITUTIONS?
Chapter 21 15: The Erosion of Marriage: A Pyrrhic Victory?
Chapter 22 16: The Unconservative Harms of Conservative Opposition to Gay Marriage
Chapter 23 17: Or for Poorer? How Same-Sex Marriage Threatens Religious Liberty
Chapter 24 18: Same-Sex Marriage and Public School Curricula: Reflections on Preserving the Rights of Parents to Direct the Education of their Children
Chapter 25 19: Redefinition of Marriage and the Rule of Law
Perhaps no question so alerts both sides in the ongoing 'culture wars' as that of same-sex 'marriage'. It is anathema and oxymoronic to one side and simple common sense and fairness to the other. What's the Harm? is the most valuable, forthright, and thoughtful discussion of the question I have yet seen. It should be required reading for any legislature (or court) called upon to consider the legal status of same-sex couples, and should receive close attention from anyone interested in being fully informed on this question.
Dr. A. Scott Loveless, Acting Managing Director, World Family Policy Center, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University


What's the Harm? is an invaluable resource for legislators, lobbyists, students, and anyone else interested in the legal and social policy implications of same-sex relationships. With chapters written by both supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage, the book provides an unparalleled and unique glimpse into the research, the evidence, and the philosophies that fuel one of the most important social policy debates in the last forty years.
Robert Destro, Professor of Law, Director of the Marriage Law Project, and Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Law and Religion, Colum


Across America, judges and other political elites are starting to strike down duly and democratically determined prohibitions against same-sex marriage as a matter of individual rights. In response, a set of thoughtful and courageous scholars step forward here with careful argument and evidence that same-sex marriage is not just a private concern between equal and consenting adults. Rather, they show—even as they engage openly with those who see things differently—that same-sex marriage is an issue with broad and deeply problematic ramifications for our democratic order. This is a crucial book for an absolutely crucial moment.
Matthew S. Holland, Associate Professor of Political Science, Brigham Young University


What's the Harm? zeros in on the central question of the gay marriage controversy. Wardle has drawn together serious scholars who sift the evidence and find some surprising answers. The book is a model of how intellectual inquiry on contentious topics should be pursued.
Dr. Peter W. Wood, Executive Director, National Association of Scholars


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