Ryan Anderson reviews Debating Same-Sex Marriage by John Corvino and Maggie Gallagher

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[The debate over same-sex marriage is]...difficult, because it occurs between reasonable people of good will with different visions of the common good, in a culture already long confused about marriage and sexuality. Important, because the family is society’s foundation.

John Corvino and Maggie Gallagher know this, which is why their arguments on marriage are so measured, reasonable, and persuasive — despite their own profound disagreement. Corvino, a philosophy professor at Wayne State University, favors recognizing same-sex relationships as marriages. Gallagher, founder of the National Organization for Marriage, favors retaining civil marriage as the union of man and woman. Both are friends of mine, and both mention (critically and appreciatively) my writings on marriage with Sherif Girgis and Robert P. George.

The authors seek to “achieve disagreement”: to understand precisely where and why they differ, a rare feat “in the face of a sometimes ugly division.” And in 100 pages each of positive arguments, and 20 pages each of replies, they do just that. The total effect is to give readers a sense of the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments, without the usual spike in blood pressure.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchBooksLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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