viernes, 5 de junio de 2015

It’s easy to confuse fundamental rights with desired goods ...

There Is No Fundamental Right to Marry
by S. Adam Seagrave
It’s easy to confuse fundamental rights with intensely-desired goods—and thus to wrongly invest the latter with the moral urgency and primacy of the former.

Few commentators on either side of the ongoing marriage debate would deny that individuals possess a fundamental right to marry. To do so seems ridiculous today. Marital relationships are, as the Supreme Court first affirmed in Meyerv. Nebraska (1923)—albeit in obiter dictum, an aside unnecessary to the decision of the case—an important part of the happiness that individuals have a natural right to pursue.

It may be a surprise to modern Americans to realize that the Meyer case represents the first notable appearance of the “right to marry” language in the American political tradition or its antecedents in liberal political philosophy. It played almost no role in the Civil Rights Movement beyond its invocation by Chief Justice Earl Warren in the 1967 case of Loving v. Virginia (neither King nor Malcolm X made mention of such a right to my knowledge), it was entirely absent from the anti-slavery movement (Lincoln’s Republican Party was formed, in fact, with the twin policy goals of ending slavery and outlawing polygamy), and it was similarly absent from the revolutionary conflict with Great Britain.

The idea of a fundamental right to marry—not just someone of the same sex, but anyone at all—is a relatively new one. Among those who didn’t thinkanyone—not just homosexuals, but heterosexuals as well—possessed such a right are John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Abraham Lincoln, to name only a prominent few. Why not? Didn’t they see the enormous importance of marriage to individuals and society? And if this is the case, don’t people have a right to it?

Invoking Rights in Public Discourse ....

The Idea of a Right to Marry ....

The Court and the Right to Marry ....

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