Below are links to a selection of papers and articles on topics related to the same-sex marriage debate. They are not all easy reading. Some are quite difficult, but if we are going to discuss the issue it would be better to make the effort and be more informed rather than less. Some short quotes from most of the papers have been provided.
Some theology of marriage:
What Male–Female Complementarity Makes Possible: Marriage as a Two-In-One Flesh Union
Patrick Lee and Robert P. George
Theological Studies, 69 (2008)
(pdf file, 212KB)
The authors, replying to criticisms of the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexual acts …, argue that marriage is a multileveled personal union, essentially including the bodily as well as the emotional and volitional levels of the human self. Only sexual acts between a man and a woman who have consented to the kind of union that would be fulfilled by conceiving, bearing, and raising children together (that is, marriage) can consummate or actualize marital communion.
Some history of same sex marriage activism:
The Marriage Wars
Quadrant, December 2013
Some legal, social and economic issues:
Genderless Marriage, Institutional Realities, and Judicial Elision
Monte Neil Stewart
Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy, Vol. 1, 2006
(pdf file, 692kb)
[T]he argument from social institutional studies … teaches that the social institution of marriage, like all institutions, is constituted by a web of shared public meanings; that these meanings teach, form, and transform individuals; and that in this way, these meanings provide vital social goods. … With its demonstration that the legal redefinition of marriage will in time and probably sooner than later result in the loss of the vital social goods uniquely provided by the man/woman marriage institution, the social institutional argument is thus an argument that society (and hence government) has a compelling interest in continuing to sustain that institution of betterment [i.e., man/woman marriage].
The impossibility of gay marriage and the threat of biopolitical control
ABC Religion and Ethics, 23 Apr 2013
Heterosexual exchange and reproduction has always been the very “grammar” of social relating as such. The abandonment of this grammar would thus imply a society no longer primarily constituted by extended kinship, but rather by state control and merely monetary exchange and reproduction.
For the individual, the experience of a natural-cultural unity is most fundamentally felt in the sense that her natural birth is from an interpersonal (and so “cultural”) act of loving encounter – even if this be but a one-night stand. This provides a sense that one’s very biological roots are suffused with an interpersonal narrative. Again, to lose this “grammar” would be to compromise our deepest sense of humanity, and risk a further handing over of power to market and state tyrannies supported by myths both of pure human nature and technocratic artifice.
How Redefining Marriage Redefines Parenthood
(pdf file, 64.4KB)
Around the world, the two-person, mother-father model of marriage and parenthood is being challenged. The growing emphasis is on meeting adults’ rights to children rather than children’s needs to know and be raised, whenever possible, by their mother and father. …
When we change the mother-father dimension of marriage or the two-person understanding of marriage, we also change understandings of parenthood in ways that dramatically impact the future for children.
An Economic Assessment of Same-Sex Marriage Laws
Douglas W. Allen
Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol. 29, No. 3
(pdf file, 287KB)
This Article argues that marriage is an economically efficient institution, designed and evolved to regulate incentive problems that arise between a man and a woman over the life cycle of procreation. As such, its social and legal characteristics will provide a poor match for the incentive problems that arise in the two distinctly different relationships of gay and lesbian couples. Forcing all three relationships to be covered by the same law will lead to a sub-optimal law for all three types of marriage.