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    Segura, Gary M. 2005. A Symposium on the Politics of Same-Sex Marriage—An Introduction and Commentary. PS: Political Science & Politics, Vol. 38, Issue. 02,


Litigating Same-Sex Marriage: Might the Courts Actually Be Bastions of Rationality?

  • Evan Gerstmann (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 April 2005

The great political philosopher John Stuart Mill once asked, “Was there any domination which did not appear natural to those that possessed it?” (Mill 1984, 269–270). For same-sex couples seeking access to the institution of marriage, the public sense that marriage is naturally and obviously meant only for opposite-sex couples has been a formidable barrier. The first state supreme courts to rule on same-sex marriage, in the early 1970s, simply relied upon dictionary definitions to hold that marriage was obviously a heterosexual institution. Politicians mostly ignored the issue altogether until the courts of Hawaii, Vermont, and Massachusetts forced public debate of the issue.

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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
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