Gay Marriage and Democracy: Equality for All

R. Claire Snyder, Author
R. Claire Snyder, Author . Rowman and Littlefield $60 (177p) ISBN 978-0-7425-2786-7 ISBN 978-0-7425-2787-4
Reviewed on: 01/09/2006
Release date: 02/01/2006
Paperback - 177 pages - 978-0-7425-2787-4
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Snyder has written a terse handbook of rebuttals to most every anti–gay marriage argument out there—and states that a legitimate democracy must legalize gay marriage. An assistant professor of government and politics at George Mason University, Snyder backs up this claim with 27 clearly argued pages of political theory that are the best part of this book. The argument hinges on the concept of just law as defined by Martin Luther King Jr. and upheld by the Supreme Court: "a code that a majority compels a minority to follow [and] that it is willing to follow itself." Because heterosexuals would not be willing to have their own marriages prohibited, they cannot legitimately prohibit it for homosexuals. Snyder neatly disentangles the legitimate claims of religion (to live according to one's moral framework) from those that are antidemocratic (to impose one's moral framework on others). She also takes on biblical arguments, rehashing some well-known controversies but adding useful Jewish perspectives. By foregrounding the political traditions on which American democracy rests, Snyder gives those on the left a considerable weapon against assertions that religious traditions should guide the nation's future. (Mar.)

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