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Radical Philosophy Review

Volume 22, Issue 2, 2019

Brook J. Sadler
Pages 257-284

Getting (Un-)Hitched
Marriage and Civil Society

In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges. Although I concur that same-sex couples should have the right to marry if anyone does, I argue that civil marriage is an unjust institution. By examining the claims employed in the majority opinion, I expose the Court’s romanticized, patriarchal view of marriage. I critique four central claims: (1) that marriage is central to individual autonomy and liberty; (2) that civil marriage is uniquely valuable; (3) that marriage “safeguards” children and families; and (4) that marriage is fundamental to civil society.

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