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Attributions and the Regulation of Marriage: Considering the Parallels Between Race and Homosexuality

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 May 2005

Donald P. Haider-Markel
Affiliation:
University of Kansas
Mark R. Joslyn
Affiliation:
University of Kansas

Extract

Few would dispute that religion has played a fundamental role in shaping our understanding of human relationships, including marriage, and what types of relationships are permitted. However, science, especially biology, has also played an important role in government regulation of marriage (Bittles and Neel 1994; Ottenheimer 1990; Dupuis 2002; Ellison 2004; Strasser 2002). A cursory overview of government regulations of marriage reveals laws that establish age requirements, necessitate testing for diseases, ban nuptials between individuals with biological relations, set limits on the number of spouses, and ban interracial marriage (miscegenation), among other things (Barlow and Probert 2004; Bratt 1984; Cott 2000; Micklos and Carlson 2000; Moran 2001; Ottenheimer 1990; Scott 2000). Certainly some of these policies reflect a religious based morality, but some, such as those that ban marriages between individuals within a family, also reflect a biological understanding of potential problems associated with the offspring of these couples (Bratt 1984; Ottenheimer 1990; Cott 2000; Micklos and Carlson 2000; St. Jean 1998; Scott 2000; Stoddard 2003).

Type
Symposium
Copyright
© 2005 by the American Political Science Association

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