Robert P. George and Jean Bethke Elshstain, editors. The Meaning of Marriage: Family, State, Market & Morals. Dallas, Spence Press, 2006, ISBN 1-890626-64-3. 316 pgs, hardbound, indexed.The chapters are:
Roger Scruton: “Sacrilege and Sacrament”
Don Browning and Elizabeth Marquardt: “What about the Children? Liberal Concerns on Same-Sex Marriage”
Harold James: “Changing Dynamics of the Family in Recent European History”
Jennifer Roback Morse: “Why Unilateral Divorce Has
David F. Forte: “The Framer’s Idea of Marriage and Family”
Hadley Arkes: “The Family and the Law”
Robert P. George: “What’s Sex Got to Do with It? Marriage, Morality and Rationality”
Seanea Sugrue: “Soft Despotism and Same Sex Marriage”
Maggie Gallagher: “(How) Does Marriage Protect Child Well-Being?”
Katherine Shaw-Spadt: “The Current Crisis in Marriage Law, Its Origins and Its Impact”
M. Bradford Wilcox: “Suffer the Little Children: Marriage, the Poor, and The Commercial”
One can tell the line of argumentation from the table of contents. The underlying thought throughout (especially in George’s own essay) is that marriage is an intrinsic institution (as compared to an instrumental one). Another important idea is that marriage is necessarily sexual and conjugal. Several of the essays try to show, almost mathematically, that the paradigm where the state simply butts out does not lead to a libertarian practical result. It’s almost like a mathematician’s proof by counterexample.
As far as how people inclined to homosexual attraction (and desiring to act on these attractions) are treated -- as second class citizens, and sometimes with considerable interference in their personal lives by meddling others -- the arguments in this book suggest an unpleasant corollary: most "normal" people need to be kept away from extra-marital temptation (including homosexual) in order to have enough incentive to remain interested in one opposite-gendered marital partner for a life time, perform with some complementarity, and create and raise and hold together a nuclear family. There is a bit of duplicity and intentional "irrationality" in the personal development process that makes heterosexual marriage reasonable for many people. The problem is that social and political systems designed to maintain duplicity always become corrupt, and certainly inequitable when dealing with large competing classes of people.