Character revealed Print
By Hadley Arkes   
Friday, 27 May 2011

[L]egislators could indeed take marriage as the center of their concerns. They could affirm again that a legal marriage is the union of a man and woman known as husband and wife; that no plural marriage will be sanctioned in the state, and no more will the state treat couplings of the same sex, under any name or title, as couplings to be accorded the standing and privileges that attach to marriage. They might also stipulate the incontestable point that in sexuality, as in every other domain of life, people may manifest their character, bad as well as good, and that the character revealed in sexual lives may be aptly considered by the courts, and official agencies of the state, as they need to reach judgments on divorce, adoption, and the custody of children. But that is to say, the character revealed, even in these private encounters, may bear with a direct relevance on the earnestness of people to preserve a faithful commitment to one partner, a spouse, and to children, in a framework of marriage.


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