Public Reason Liberalism and Sex-Neutral Marriage

Ratio Juris (forthcoming)

Authors
Dr Greg Walker
University College London
Abstract
This article, forthcoming in the international legal philosophy journal Ratio Juris, responds to an article by Francis J. Beckwith arguing that the consistent application of liberal principles requires that same-sex marriage not be recognised in civil law. This response demonstrates that Beckwith’s article contains a series of interpretative and substantive flaws that render his argument unsuccessful. These relate to a misinterpretation of core liberal principles and a sidestepping of the matter of undue bias against same-sex partners. In correcting these flaws I tentatively propose a ‘Voltarian argument’ in favour of same-sex civil marriage for those citizens with moral qualms about same-sex relationships derived from their reasonable comprehensive doctrine.
Keywords Marriage  Same-Sex Marriage  Political Liberalism  John Rawls  Public Reason  Natural Justice  Gay Rights
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