Same-Sex Marriage not an Equal Rights Issue, Yet

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Richard McDonough


The present paper takes its point of departure from “McDonough’s Logical Argument” (hereafter MLA) that “gays” have traditionally had the same marital rights as “straights”, namely to marry one eligible person of the opposite gender. The present paper argues that, although it might not seem so at first glance, MLA is consistent with full legal rights being accorded to “Same Sex Marriage” (SSM). That is, MLA takes no stand on the substantive issue whether SSM should be legalized, but is merely an attempt to make a purely logical point about the “individuation” (the precise specification) of the right to marry. An illuminating social science fiction example is provided to show that MLA is neutral on the legalization of SSM. The paper argues that philosophical argument per se is largely impotent on these kinds of issues, and that the justification for legalizing SSM is to be found, rather, in the democratic process.

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How to Cite
McDonough, R. (2019). Same-Sex Marriage not an Equal Rights Issue, Yet. Humanities Bulletin, 2(2), 39-53. Retrieved from