With over half of Americans now in favor of marriage equality, it is clear that societal norms of marriage are being quickly redefined. The growing belief that the state may not discriminate against gays and lesbians calls into question whether the state may limit other types of marital unions, including plural marriage. While much has been written about same-sex marriage, as of yet there has been no book-length legal treatment of unions among three or more individuals. The first major study on plural marriage and the law, In Defense of Plural Marriage begins to fill this lacuna in the scholarly literature. Ronald C. Den Otter shows how the constitutional arguments that support the option of plural marriage are stronger than those against. Ultimately, he proposes a new semi-contractual marital model that would provide legal recognition for a wide range of intimate relationships.
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This book argues that competent, consenting adults have a constitutional right to plural marriage. While deconstructing traditional arguments against plural marriage, the author proposes a new legal grounding for marriage that would allow for recognition of a diverse range of intimate relationships.About the Author:
Ronald C. Den Otter is an associate professor of political science at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Professor Den Otter has previously taught courses in public law, political theory and American politics at California Polytechnic State University, University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, Santa Cruz. His first book, Judicial Review in an Age of Moral Pluralism (2009), was published by Cambridge University Press.
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