Otter, Ronald C. Den. “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage: Perspectives on Marital Possibilities”, Lexington Books, 2016.
Now that the debate over same-sex marriage in the United States has ended, what awaits us in the future is uncertain. What marriage will be like in the future has moved from academia and if you remember, Supreme Court Justice Roberts said in his dissenting remarks in Obergefell that constitutionally-mandated legal recognition of same-sex marriage can possibly mean that the states may also have to recognize multi-person intimate relationships as well in order to avoid discriminating against plural marriage enthusiasts. Marriage could, and perhaps should, look very different than it does today. Instead of settling the question of whether states “ought to abolish marriage, make it more inclusive, contractual, or call it something else”, we see here that there are normative, legal, and empirical questions that Americans must address before “they can deliberate thoughtfully about whether to keep the marital status quo where monogamy remains privileged”.
In the essays contained in this book, we read opinions on marital reform that are written for ordinary Americans, their elected representatives, and judges, so that they can ultimately decide whether they want to continue to define marriage narrowly, make it inclusive to avoid discrimination, or have the state leave the marriage business. Included here are eight original essays that explain important but often-neglected areas of the marriage issue. We see why marriage equality should be considered the beginning and not the end of progressive thinking about the future of marriage. It is important reading for those who are interested in where we will next go regarding justice and policy in terms of marriage.
The tenets of liberalism— freedom, equality, and fairness, give a straightforward answer to the question of marriage equality for same-sex couples but following that is a slew of questions that could possibly arise. The essays here deal with the most difficult results of governing intimacy. Among other topics, we read about life in a modern Mormon family and we receive an analysis of liberal neutrality as well as an argument against legal recognition of plural marriage. “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage” gives us an overview of many of the complex issues raised “by polygamy, plural marriage, polyamory, and the family forms to which these practices give rise.” The scholars included here are Sonu Bedi, Janet Bennion, Mark Goldfeder, Yosef Razin, Diane Klein, Andrew Lister, Ameneh Maghzi, Mark Gruchy, Kristin McCarty, Maura Strassberg and Olivia Newman. Elizabeth Sheff wrote the forward.