The meanings of marriage in the West : law, religion and 'nature'
Title: The meanings of marriage in the West : law, religion and 'nature'
Series/Number: EUI RSCAS; 2014/38; RELIGIOWEST
What are the different understandings of marriage, family, and rights that have been developed during recent debates regarding same sex marriage, and polygamy in France and in North America? What modes of justification and repertoires are used today in order to define marriage and claim the rights it entails? What changes in the anthropological conception of marriage in Western societies do the present disputes imply? These two papers examine these questions from different angles and contexts. They both address the new tension between law, the reference to nature, and the Church. Law now seems to accept the idea of the homosexual family, and it even equates it to the biological family. This legal evolution deconstructs the assumption of an “order of nature”. It is leading in several Western States to a redefinition of the marriage institution and to its opening to same sex partners (Netherlands in 2001; Belgium in 2003; Spain and Canada in 2005; Sweden and Norway in 2009).Whereas law rejects the relevance of the reference to nature, the Catholic Church has sought for several years to base its opposition to same sex marriage on the need to respect a natural order.
Subject: Polygamy; Same-sex marriage; Church; Law; Nature
Grant number: FP7/269860/EU
Type of Access: openAccess