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Copyright (c) 2002 by the Capital University Law Review
Capital University Law Review

ARTICLE: Religion as the Language of Discourse of Same Sex Marriage


Capital University Law Review

30 Cap. U.L. Rev. 221


Larry Cata Backer *



In his correspondent's reconstruction of the debates of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Jeffrey St. John relates how influential delegates of the larger states confronted the problem of small state resistance to proportional representation in the new Senate:
A month ago, Mr. Madison and Mr. Wilson, as leaders of the large States, were confident they would carry the Convention with them. Now they have been forced to adopt the strategy of their adversary Roger Sherman [of Connecticut], who believes that when you are in the majority, vote, and when in a minority, talk. 1

Like the representatives of large states at the Philadelphia convention, the advocates of same-sex marriage, once confident of carrying the country after Hawaii 2, Alaska, 3 and Vermont, 4 now again confront the reality of the absence of consensus for raising unions between people of the same sex to a dignity equal to that of marriage.

Proponents of same-sex marriage find themselves in the position of Madison and Wilson. Faced with a dynamic and unfavorable political reality, 5 we are forced to talk or face the inevitability of an unfavorable political settlement. 6 This conference, 7 along with others held recently along the same lines, 8 evidences this understanding. I will speak about the exhaustion of both talk and action in connection with efforts to secure marriage rights for same-sex couples. I will then turn to the utility of religion as a means of effecting those rights to marriage ...
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