Zalesne and Dexter, ‘From Marriage to Households: Towards Equal Treatment of Intimate Forms of Life’

Abstract
Law and attitudes around marriage have changed drastically in our own history and are widely different across cultures. Same-sex marriage is now legal, polyamorous relationships are on the rise, and, as an empirical matter, marriage serves a different purpose than it did as little as forty years ago – marriage is no longer a prerequisite for sexual intimacy, cohabitation, or parenthood. There are no essential elements to a definition of marriage to which the state can appeal without arbitrarily restricting citizens’ possibilities with respect to their most intimate relationships. Therefore, because any state-sanctioned version of marriage will be arbitrary, the only justified form of marriage that the state can sanction is as a contract like any other, with the terms determined by the parties …

Zalesne, Deborah and Dexter, Adam, From Marriage to Households: Towards Equal Treatment of Intimate Forms of Life (August 12, 2018). Buffalo Law Review volume 66, no 4.

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