My new article in Ratio Juris: “Justificatory Liberalism and Same-Sex Marriage”

Earlier this week I was informed that my article, “Justificatory Liberalism and Same-Sex Marriage,” has just been published in the journal Ratio Juris: An International Journal of Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law 26.4 (December 2013): 487-509. Here is the abstract of the article:

Supporters of Justificatory Liberalism (JL)—such as John Rawls and Gerard Gaus—typically maintain that the state may not coerce its citizens on matters of constitutional essentials unless it can provide public justification that the coerced citizens would be irrational in rejecting. The state, in other words, may not coerce citizens whose rejection of the coercion is based on their reasonable comprehensive doctrines (i.e., worldviews). Proponents of the legal recognition of same-sex marriage (SSM) usually offer some version of JL as the most fundmental reason why laws that recognize marriage only if it is a union between one man and one woman are unjust. In this article I argue that the application of JL in support of legal recognition of SSM does not succeed because the issue under scrutiny—the nature of marriage—is deeply embedded in, and in most cases integral to, many (if not most) citizens’ reasonable comprehensive doctrines. Thus, I argue that because of the effects and consequences of the legal recognition of SSM, it results (or will result) in a violation of JL against dissenting citizens.

The article is accessible online here, though you will need a subscription to read it. If you are a university student or faculty member your institution’s library may have a subscription. (The Ratio Juris issue in which my article appears also includes an “In Memoriam” in honor of the late Ronald Dworkin, who for years served on the journal’s editorial board).

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!


Call for Papers: "Doing Justice Without Doing Harm"
Gerald McDermott: Is Evangelical Liberalism an Oxymoron?
My chapter in the new book, Reason, Revelation, and the Civic Order: Political Philosophy and the Claims of Faith
Neuhaus' Law and Beckwith's Law