Untying the Knot: Marriage, the State, and the Case for by Tamara Metz

By Tamara Metz

Marriage is on the middle of 1 of modern day fiercest political debates. Activists argue approximately how to find it, judges and legislators come to a decision who should still reap the benefits of it, and students think of how the nation should still shield those who find themselves denied it. Few, although, ask no matter if the country must have something to do with marriage within the first position. In Untying the Knot, Tamara Metz addresses this significant query, creating a strong argument that marriage, like faith, may be separated from the country. instead of defining or conferring marriage, or hoping on it to accomplish valid public welfare objectives, the nation should still create a slim felony prestige that helps all intimate caregiving unions. Marriage itself might be bestowed by way of these most fitted to provide it the required moral authority--religious teams and other forms of groups. Divorcing the kingdom from marriage is dictated via not anything under easy commitments to freedom and equality. Tracing confusions approximately marriage to tensions on the middle of liberalism, Untying the Knot clarifies latest debates approximately marriage by means of deciding upon and explaining assumptions hidden in largely held positions and customary practices. It indicates that, so long as marriage and the country are associated, marriage can be a danger to liberalism and the country could be a chance to marriage. an enormous and well timed rethinking of the connection among marriage and the nation, Untying the Knot will curiosity political theorists, felony students, policymakers, sociologists, and somebody else who cares in regards to the destiny of marriage or liberalism.

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Extra resources for Untying the Knot: Marriage, the State, and the Case for Their Divorce

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Thus, without saying so explicitly, he envisions marriage as something of an instrumental status. In this, he presents the beginnings of a liberal model of political life that balances a thoroughgoing commitment to individual freedom with the facts of human interdependency. But his full picture of marriage remains deeply rooted in religion, a fact that disturbs an easy fit between marriage and the liberal state he theorizes. Locke does not address this disturbance. In short, Locke’s treatment of marriage is more complicated than is typically noted: he revises marriage in terms that make it a more comfortable object of control by the limited state he theorizes even as he retains elements that conflict with this control.

It is more than a contract. It requires certain acts of the parties to constitute marriage independent of and beyond the contract. It partakes more of the character of an institution regulated and controlled by public authority, upon principles of public policy, for the benefit of the community. And finally, citing the Rhode Island Supreme Court, Justice Field affirmed, Though formed by contract, [marriage] signifies the relation of husband and wife, deriving both its rights and duties from a source higher than any contract of which the parties are capable, and as to these uncontrollable by any contract which they can make.

This focus makes sense because it allows marriage to fit easily into a liberal tradition that depicts the state as properly limited to matters of material concern—to matters of action and behavior, not belief and meaning. But if marital status and civil-union status are the same, why create civil-union status at all? Why not bestow marital status on all? Or, conversely, why not civil union for all? If the value of legally defined and conferred marital status is the sum of a delineable set of benefits and burdens, then why not avoid the perils of negotiating competing definitions of marriage and simply use civil union to convey these goods?

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