Lheterosexisme

Qu'en pensez-vous?

le-bras-arme-de-lheterosexisme/ []. - Beh, H., G., Diamond, M., Richardson, W.S (): David Reimer's Legacy: Limiting parental. oesteonline.info​-lhomophobie-sur-la-sante-et-la-qualite-de-vie-des-jeunes-gays-lesbiennes-et-. nouveau regard sur lhomophobie et lheterosexisme au canada http://onlinepdf.​oesteonline.info Here you can read and download nouveau regard sur.

oesteonline.info​-lhomophobie-sur-la-sante-et-la-qualite-de-vie-des-jeunes-gays-lesbiennes-et-. Cours 6 Hétérosexisme. Sample Cards: definition de lheterosexisme,. definition de lheteronormativite,. definition de homophobie homonegativite. 32 Cards. I'm translating a paper about gay identity, and I'm having quite a bit of trouble with this phrase, particularly the parenthetical "soit l'heterosexism.

nouveau regard sur lhomophobie et lheterosexisme au canada http://onlinepdf.​oesteonline.info Here you can read and download nouveau regard sur. I'm translating a paper about gay identity, and I'm having quite a bit of trouble with this phrase, particularly the parenthetical "soit l'heterosexism. le-bras-arme-de-lheterosexisme/ []. - Beh, H., G., Diamond, M., Richardson, W.S (): David Reimer's Legacy: Limiting parental.






It is not che son of lheterosexosme that could have been undertaken a hundred years ago or even ftfcy years ago. Even questions about language and society were construed as largely epistemic: How do we know what ocher people mean when they calk?

How do we know chat the statements we make about social reality are really true? How do we verify them? These are interesting questions, but I regard them as peripheral. One of the agreeable fearures of writing in the present era is that we have in large part overcome our three-hundred-year obsession with epistemology and skepticism.

No doubt many interesting epistemic questions remain, bur in this investigation I will mostly ignore them. It is an odd fact of intellectual history lhetetosexisme the great philosophers of the past cenrury had little or nothing to say about social oncology. But if they did not address the problems that interest lhetersexisme in this book, they did develop techniques of analysis and approaches to language that I intend to use. Standing on their shoulders, as well as on my own earlier work, I am going to try ro look at a terrain lheteeosexisme did nor see.

And why is this an appropriate subject for philosophy and not the proper domain lheterosexisme empirical sciences? No doubt this will all be done too swiftly, and to get a full understanding you will have to read the rest of the book.

But I want you to see from the start what I am up to and why I think it is important. This work proceeds on the basis of lheteroosexisme cenain methodological assumption: at the very beginning we have to assume that human society, a society that is importantly different from all other animal societies known to me, is based on cenain rather simple lheterosesisme.

Indeed, Lheterosexisem will argue that its institutional strucrures are based on exactly one principle. The enormous complexities of human society are different surface manifestations of an underlying 8 Making the Social World 2. I will have a great deal more to say about this later, bur at present, I can say that for the status functions to aCtually work, there must be collective acceptancwr recognition of the object or person as having that status.

In earlier writings, I lheterozexisme to emphasize acceptance, but several commentators, especially Jennifer Hudin, thought this might imply approval. I did not mean it to imply approval.

Acceptance, as I conscrue ic, goes all the way from enthusiastic endorsement co grudging acknowledgment, even the acknowledgment that one is simply helpless to do anything about, or reject, the institutions in kheterosexisme one finds oneself. So in this book, to avoid this misunderstanding, I will use "recognition" or sometimes the disjunction "recognition or acceptance.

I want to emphasiz. StatuS functions depend on collective intentionaliry. In lheterosexisme book I devote a whole chapter to collective inrentionaliry, so I will not tell you about it now, except to say that a remarkable fact about human beings and some animals is that they have the capaciry to cooperate.

They can cooperate not only in the actions that they perform, but they can even have shared attitudes, shared desires, and shared beliefs. An interesting theoretical question, by no means resolved by animal psychologists, 3 is, To what extent does collective inten- tionaliry exist in other species? Bur one thing is dear.

It exists in the lheterosexidme species. It is only in virtue of colleccive recognition that this piece of paper is a rwenry-dollar bill, that Barack Obama is president of the United Scates, char I am a citizen of rhe United States, that the Giants beat the Dodgers three co cwo in eleven innings, and chat the car in the driveway is my properry. But why are they so important? Without lhetefosexisme, the status functions carry what I call "deontic powers. I introduce the expression "deontic powers" to cover all of these, both the positive deoncic powers e.

An example of a conditional deontic power would be my power to vote in the Democratic primary ifl register as a Democrat. I have the power to vote, but only conditional on registration.

An example of a disjunct- ive deontic power would be my power to register either as a Democrat or as a Republican, but not both. And how do they do chat? Deomic powers have a unique trait, again, I think, uncommon and perhaps unknown in the animal Lheyerosexisme once recognized, they provide us with reasons for acting that are independent of our inclinations and desires.

If I recognize an object as "your propeny," for example, then I recognize that I am under an obligation not to take it or use it without your lheterosexisme. Even ifl am a thief, I recognjze that I am violating your rights when I appropriate your property. Indeed, the profession of being a thief would be meaningless without the belief lheterosexismr the institution of private property, because what the thief hopes to do is to take somebody else's private property and make it his own, thus reinforcing his commitment and the society's commitment to the lheterosexisme of private property.

So statUs functions are the glue that holds society together. They are created by collective imencionality and they function by carrying deontic powers. But that raises a very interesting question: how on Earth could human beings create such a marvelous feature and how do they maintain it in existence once it is created?

I will put off answering chat question until we get to the discussion in the next section, "Status Functions as Created by Declarations. Our favorite examples of rules regulate antecedently existing furms ofbehavior. For example, the rule "Drive on the right-hand side of the road" regulates driving in the United 12 Oheterosexisme the Social World change the world by producing a speech act, the aim of lheterosexismd is to cause a change.

The order is aimed at causing obedience; the promise is aimed at causing fulfillment. In these cases it is not the aim of the speech act to match an independently existing reality. Rather, the aim is to change reality so lhetsrosexisme it will match the content of the speech act.

Ifl promise to come and see you on Wednesday, the point of the utterance is to bring about a change in reality by creating a reason for me co come and see you on Wednesday and lheterosexisme getting me co keep the promise. If I order you to leave che room, the aim is to cry to get you co leave the room by way of obeying my order, co get your behavior to match the content of che speech act.

I say of these cases that they have the world-to-word direction of fit. Their point is co get the world to change to match the content of the speech act. I represent the upward or world-to-word direction of fit with an upward arrow T.

There are some other speech lheterosexisme that I won't go into at present, which don't have either of these directions of fit but where the fit is lhteerosexisme for granted, such as when I apologize for stepping on your foot or thank you for giving me a million dollars.

But they are not relevant to our presem inquiry, so I will put off their discussion until Chapter 4 There is a fuscinating class of speech acts that combine the word-to-world 1 and the world-to-word i direction of fit, which have both directions of ftt simultaneously in a single speech act!.

These are cases where we change reality lheterosexismee match the propositional content of the speech act and thus achieve world- to-word direction of fit. But, and chis is the amazing part, we succeed in so doing because we represent the reality as being so changed. More than three decades ago, I baptized these as "Declarations. The most famous cases of Declarations are what Austin called "performa- tive utterances. Thus you make it the case that you promise by saying, "I promise.

One of the primary theoretical points of this book is ro make a very srrong claim. With the important exception of language itself, all of institutional real icy, and therefore, in a sense, all of human civilization, is created by speech 6. This discussion so far reinforces a p,oiot made in my earlier work, The Construction of Socia[ Reality, and that is that all of insritULional reality is created by linguistic representation.

You do nor always need actual words of existing languages, but you need some sorts of symbolic representation for the institutional fact co exisL As I noted before, there is, however, lheterosexisme interesting and crucial class of exceptions: linguistic phenomena themselves.

Thus, the existence of a Dedaration is itself an institutional fact and thus a status function. Bur does it itself require a further Declaration to exist? It does not. Indeed, if it did, we would have an infinite regress. But now, what is it about language lheterodexisme makes it a system of status functions that is exempt from the general requirement that all status functions are created lheterosesisme Status Func- tion Dedaracions?

We use semantics to create a realiry that goes beyond semantics, and semantics to create powers that go beyond semantic powers. But the linguistic facts, the fact that such and such an utterance counts as a statement or a promise, are not facts where the semantics goes beyond the semantics.

On the contrary, semantics is sufficient to account for the lheterisexisme of the statement or the promise. The semantic content of the speech act by itself cannot make money or private property, but the lheterosexisme content of the speech act by itself is sufficient to make statemenu, promises, requests, and questions.

The difference is in the nature of the meanings involved, and I will explain that difference in much further detail in Chapters 4 and 5 At first sight, it might seem that formulae of the form "X counts as Yin C" function the same for language as they do for other institutional facts. Thus, it is indeed the case that an appropriate urrerance of the sentence "Snow is white" counts as the making of the statement that snow is white, as it is the case that because he meets certain conditions, Barack Obama counu as the president of the United States.

Bur in spite of this apparent similariry, there is a huge difference, and it has to do with the nature of meaning. The meaning of the sentence "Snow is white" by itself is sufficient to guarantee that an appropriate utterance will constitute the making of a statement to the effect that snow is white.

But the lhetegosexisme of the sentence "Obama is president" by itself is in no way sufficient to guarantee that Obama is in fact president. In the case of the sentence, formulae of the form "X counts as Yin C" describe the constitution of meaning and lheterosexisme a separate linguistic operation that we perform. But in the case of nonlinguistic institutional facts, constitutive rules of the form "X counu as Y in C" describe a lingttistic opmuon that we The Purpose of This Book I5 lheterosexisme by which we create new inscitutional facts, facts whose existence involves more than just the meaning of the sentences and utterances used to create them.

I will have more to say about this distinction in Chapter 5 V. How This Book Fits into the Overall Philosophical Project I work from an overall philosophical vision that I lheterksexisme now summarize so that the reader can see how each individual claim fits into the overall pattern. The mind has a beautiful and symmetrical formal structure.

By "formal" I lheterosexisme mean that the structural features of beliefs, desires, perceptions, intentions, and so on can be specified independencly of any particular contents. Basic to chat formal structure is the distinction between the "cognitive faculties"- percepcion, memory, and belief-and the "conative and volitional cies"- desire, prior intention, and intention-in-action.

These rwo sets relate co realicy in quite different ways. I have already introduced the notion of direction of fit as a feature of speech acts, but I hope it is obvious that it applies equally well co menc. And desires and intentions, like orders and promises, have the upward or or word direction of fie f. Beliefs and percepcions, like statements, are supposed to represent how things are in the world, and in that sense they are supposed to fit the world; they have mind-to-world direction of fir 1.

The conative-volitional states such as desires, prior intentions, and intencions-in-action, like orders and promises, have the direction of fit j. They are not supposed to represent how things are but how we would like them to be or how we intend co make them be. In addicion to these rwo faculties, there is a third, imagination, where the propositional conrent is not supposed to fit realicy in the way that the propositional contents in cognition and volition are supposed to fit, but which nonetheless functions crucially in creating social and institutional realicy.

Imagination, like fiction, has a propositional content. If, for example, I tcy to imagine what it would have been like to Jive in ancient Rome, it is a bit like giving a ficrional account of my life in ancient Rome in chat in neither case am I actually committed to something having occurred to me in fact.

In both imagination and fiction the world-relating commitment is abandoned and we have a propositional content without any commitment lheterosexksme it lheterosexisme with either direction of fit.

These topics form the subject matter of most of the next chapter, and their extension to collective menc. You have the capacity to create states of affairs with a new deontology; you have the capacity to create rights, duties, and obligations by performing and getting other people to accept certain sorts of speech acts. Once you and others recognize someone as a leader, and an object as someone's property, and a man or a woman as someone with whom you have a special bond, then you have already created a public deontology.

For example, unless there is some form of collective recognition or acceptance of property rights, and unless the parricipants have the concept of a "right" in the first place, the system of private property will not work, nor will it even be intelligible.

The actual complexities will introduce special features. For example, you do not need a separate attitude of recognition or acceptance for institutional facts within a preexisting institutional structure. Further Questions Now that we have stated the general theory, we need to answer the following questions: 1. What is the point of doing this?

How do we benefit from these institutions and institutional facts? How do we get away with it? It seems chat we are inventing a reality out of nothing. If institutional facts have to be believed to exist, in order to exist, chen how can we discover new and surprising information about them? How are surprising discoveries in the social sciences possible? What is the role of imagination in creating institutional real icy? I have already answered some of these questions implicitly, but I now want to make the answers explicit.

Why do we create these elaborate institutional structures such as money, government, property, and universities? There is no single purpose served by all human institutions, and indeed, institutional reality is almost as various as human reality itself. But, I have argued, there is a common element that runs through all or nearly all institutions, and that is that they are enabling structures that increase human power in many different ways.

Think what life would be like if we did not have money, schools, property rights, and above all, language.

Some social theorists have seen institutional facts as essentially constraining. Catlin ed. Sarah A. Solovay and John M. Mueller, Glencoe, ll: Free Press, Moreover, it is perfectly plain to anyone following the fight closely that same-sex marriage is merely a proximate goal -- something to be abandoned as quickly as it was invented, when its work is done.

Can it really be worth fighting then? The answer is yes, for reasons that become clear when we have taken account of the work it is meant to do. And what is that work? Positively, to normalize homosexual relationships. Negatively, to de-normalize heterosexual monogamy. Those who claim that they want homosexual relationships to be more like monogamous heterosexual relationships may or may not be sincere, but they represent no significant constituency.

Now, some think that this larger project can be left to market forces. But others think that heterosexual monogamy, as the source of widespread discrimination against alternative sexualities and lifestyles, must be repudiated as a social standard.

Same-sex marriage is the tool of choice for doing that. By redefining marriage as a union of two or more persons, rather than as the union of one man and one woman, the offending norm is removed from the body politic with a single incision.

Afterwards, a wider assault on homophobia and heterosexism can follow. Double-Edged Knife Tools need to be crafted, of course, and social debates carefully framed. That has already been done with remarkable skill. The knife that is poised to remove the traditional definition of marriage from America has been honed at both edges.

The one edge is shaped by an appeal to our best instincts -- the love of liberty, and of liberty in love. This is the emotive edge, flashing with winsome pictures of same-sex families and disturbing anecdotes about marginalization.

It also plays on feelings of repression and guilt. As one young woman quoted in an Associated Press story put it: They love and they have the right to love. And we cant tell somebody how to love. The other edge is the harder, more rational edge, shaped by an appeal to autonomy and equality. Not content with the anecdotal, it drives home the case for rights -- rights not merely to love as one sees fit but to equal recognition of that love by the state.

Hence also to recognition of the wrong, both morally and constitutionally, of the traditional definition of marriage that privileges the heterosexual norm. In America, this knife was first wielded in Massachusetts by the Goodridge court, which concluded as follows: Barred access to the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage, a person who enters into an intimate, exclusive union with another of the same sex is arbitrarily deprived of membership in one of our communitys most rewarding and cherished institutions.

That exclusion is incompatible with the constitutional principles of respect for individual autonomy and equality under law.

Massachusetts later sued the federal government for attempting, through the Defense of Marriage Act DOMA , to enshrine in law the status quo ante. The suit claimed that in enacting DOMA Congress overstepped its authority, undermined states efforts to recognize marriages between same-sex couples, and codified an animus towards gay and lesbian people.

Not wishing to be implicated in that animus, the White House has declined to defend DOMA, the fate of which has yet to be decided. If DOMA fails, same-sex marriage will succeed in the courts of state after state, and with it the de jure normalization and denormalization of which we have spoken.

The Bonds of Marriage Alarmed about all of this, various champions have sprung to the defense of marriage, which they are now reduced in a concession I regard as a mistake to calling traditional or historic marriage.

Over the past decade or so, they have tried to re-frame the debate by highlighting the abiding contributions of that institution, while avoiding as far as possible the appearance of animus against homosexuals.

Those contributions are manifold, and a good deal of emphasis has rightly been placed on the positive social and economic outcomes that marriage continues to produce in contemporary society. But at the center -- indispensable to the rest -- is the service marriage does to the bond between a child and its natural parents.

Sex makes babies, and babies need a mother and a father, as Maggie Gallagher an indefatigable champion likes to say.

Marriage is designed to make it more likely that children will have and keep their parents. Same-sex marriage proponents, for their part, are forced to set aside this concern. On their view, the parent-child bond lies beyond the immediate purview of marriage, as does the particular sexual act that produces children. Marriage is simply the formalization of an intimate relationship between adults.

If those adults happen to produce or obtain children, well, that is another matter. Moreover, their bond with those children does not require any particular family structure to support it; good outcomes can be had from diverse family structures. The debate about what constitutes a family, and about outcomes for children, is an increasingly lively one.

The irony of this can hardly be missed. For same-sex marriage, as courts in North America have made clear, is predicated on a denial of procreation or child- rearing as a definitive interest.

Marriage is about adult bonding, and adult bonding is all there is to marriage. The champions of marriage respond that they are very much in favor of adult bonding, which the institution is indeed meant to serve. That bonding, though good in itself, is for a purpose beyond itself, however.

It is for a purpose of public as well as private interest, the purpose of procreation and child-rearing. It is not necessary, they point out, to hold that procreation constitutes the only good of marriage in order to recognize that procreation is an essential good of marriage.

Nor, for that matter, is it necessary to hold that a childless marriage is not a marriage, at least where the childlessness is not deliberate -- a matter rightly shielded from public scrutiny. But they insist that to exclude procreation as an essential or defining good makes nonsense of marriage.

The third-century Roman jurist, Modestinus, captured the common understanding of marriage with the following definition: Marriage is the union of a man and a woman, a consortium for the whole of life involving the communication of divine and human rights. This union and these rights exist, not merely for their own sake, but also and especially for the sake of the inter-generational concerns of progeny and property; with a view, that is, to the conditions necessary for the founding and flourishing of the family.

The rights involved are divine as well as human because marriage is generative, and hence pre- as well as pro-political; because what is founded through marriage is, in the twentieth-century language of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the natural and fundamental group unit of society. The same elements that found expression in Modestinus perdured and prospered in the Augustinian understanding of marriage as an institution entailing, not one, but three interwoven goods: proles, fides, et sacramentum -- procreation or fruitfulness, loyalty or faithfulness, and bonding or sacred union.

That societies shaped by this understanding took the unusual step of making marriage monogamous testifies to the seriousness with which each of these goods was regarded, precisely in its service to the others. It was by developing them in their mutuality, moreover, that heterosexual monogamy to use the language of its detractors created the conditions for the new and deeper respect for women and for children that until recently has characterized the West.

But marriage for some time has been under feminist attack for its putative institutionalization, in the name of divine rights, of oppressive patriarchal tendencies. This attack coordinated, as it now is, with a Rawlsian assault on religious or comprehensive doctrines in the public sphere -- has helped create a very different set of conditions, the conditions necessary for the advent of same-sex marriage.

And same-sex marriage, by eliminating the first good proles , has begun to unravel the whole fabric of marriage, setting up something else in its place: an institution not intrinsically connected to the family, or at all events not connected to the natural family. The divine and human rights belonging to marriage are thus beginning to disappear, as I want now to make clear.

A Society Very Small Everyone has the right to marry and to found a family, says the Universal Declaration, and the family thus founded is entitled to protection by society and the State. Parenthetically, we should observe that everyone really does mean everyone, though of course not everyone wills to marry or is able to do so.

It is ludicrous, then, to propose that same-sex marriage expands the pool of those who have a right to marry. It does no such thing, since everyone already has that right. As I pointed out some time ago in Divorcing Marriage, only if marriage is redefined as a union of persons, rather than the union of a man and a woman, is it possible to argue that homosexuals have been barred access to marriagewhich evokes the question, why change the definition?

It does no such thing, moreover, since what same-sex marriage offers, which has naught to do with founding a family, is indeed something other than marriage, as Girgis, George, and Anderson ably showed in their article, What Is Marriage? Same-sex marriage is simply a variant of what Elizabeth Brake calls adult care networks, which can be made available in virtually any size or shape Minimal Marriage, Ethics, Pace Brake, we should observe also that when a family of some description is founded by a same-sex couple, it is always founded by violating the natural parent-child bond that marriage is intended to nurture and protect.

It deprives the child, whether in the same way that divorce does or in some more innovative technological way, of its prima facie right to its own father and mother. But we should notice something else as well, and not merely parenthetically -- something too little noticed either by the detractors or by the champions of marriage. Same-sex marriage violates the natural parent-child bond in every family, and the right of the family to protection by society and the state.

How so? This society, founded more immediately in nature, is what the Universal Declaration has in mind when it speaks in article 16 of the family. The familys status as natural -- that controversial adjective is deployed only in this one specific article -- allows it a certain priority over civil society and the state. The latter share an obligation to protect the family, but the family is not at their disposal. Same-sex marriage dispenses with all of that, however. By excising sexual difference, with its generative power, it deprives itself of any direct connection to nature.

The unit it creates rests on human choice, as does that created by marriage. But whether monogamous, polygamous, or polyamorous, it is a closed unit that reduces to human choice, rather than engaging choice with nature; and its lack of a generative dimension means that it cannot be construed as a fundamental building block.

Institutionally, then, it is nothing more than a legal construct. Its roots run no deeper than positive law. It therefore cannot present itself to the state as the bearer of independent rights and responsibilities, as older or more basic than the state itself. Indeed, it is a creature of the state, generated by the states assumption of the power of invention or re-definition.

Which changes everything. A Tool of the State Six years ago, when same-sex marriage became law in Canada, the new legislation quietly acknowledged this.

In its consequential amendments section, Bill C struck out the language of natural parent, blood relationship, etc. Wherever they were found, these expressions were replaced with legal parent, legal relationship, and so forth. That was strictly necessary. Marriage was now a legal fiction, a tool of the state, not a natural and pre-political institution recognized and in certain respects age, consanguinity, consent, exclusivity regulated by the state.

And the states goal, as directed by its courts, was to assure absolute equality for same-sex couples. The problem? Same-sex couples could be parents, but not parents of common children. Granting them adoption rights could not fully address the difference. Where natural equality was impossible, however, formal or legal equality was required.

To achieve it, heterosexual marriages had to be conformed in law to homosexual marriages. The latter produced non-reproductive units, constituted not by nature but by law; the former had therefore to be put on the same footing, and were.

The aim of such legislation, as F. DeCoste has observed in Courting Leviathan Alberta Law Review, , is to de-naturalize the family by rendering familial relationships, in their entirety, expressions of law. But relationships of that sort -- bled as they are of the stuff of social tradition and experience -- are no longer family relationships at all.

They are rather policy relationships, defined and imposed by the state. Here we have what is perhaps the most pressing reason why same-sex marriage should be fought, and fought vigorously. It is a reason that neither the proponents nor the opponents of same-sex marriage have properly debated or thought through. In attacking heterosexual monogamy, same-sex marriage does away with the very institution -- the only institution we have -- that exists precisely in order to support the natural family and to affirm its independence from the state.

In doing so, it effectively makes every citizen a ward of the state, by turning his or her most fundamental human connections into legal constructs at the states gift and disposal.

In Nation of Bastards I have tried to provide a larger account of this, and to show how it leaves the parent-child relation open to increasing intervention by the state.

The current cover for that intervention is the notion of childrens rights -- meaning, far too often, the right of the child to whatever it is that the state, acting on behalf of adults other than its parents, wants it to have: a good education in state ideology, for example, which these days includes diversity training in alternative family structures. That should surprise no one, for if marriage is not procreative, it is not educative either.

Where is the educative authority to be transferred, if not to the state, whose pater familias power increases as the rights and freedoms of the natural family diminish? And what will the state do with its newfound power, if not use it to undermine further the sphere of the family, and the sphere of the church or religious community as well -- the two spheres where divine and human rights independent of the state are located?

Accelerated Unraveling I spoke of an unraveling. Those who point to places like Canada as counter-evidence -- gleefully observing, in their own preferred metaphor, that the sky has not yet fallen in jurisdictions with same-sex marriage -- either take others for fools or make fools of themselves.

With an institution as basic as marriage, one must think in terms of centuries, not mere months or years. There are, however, signs of a certain acceleration. It took some two hundred years for J eremy Benthams essay on pederasty, which first proposed that objections to homosexual acts were rooted only in prejudice, to find political expression in the demand for same-sex marriage.

Is it not Benthams voice that we hear in the charge that DOMA codifies an animus towards gays and lesbians? It has not taken long at all for activists in this tradition, aided by a development we will touch on later, to produce the still more radical Yogyakarta agenda, which they are presently trying to entrench at the United Nations and impose on states worldwide.

The Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law in Relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity was crafted in as a master plan for the next phase of the war on heterosexual monogamy. The document dispenses, as does same-sex marriage legislation, with the binary logic of male and female that has hitherto governed human society.

It presupposes instead the very different binary of homosexual and heterosexual orientation -- a binary that can more easily be cracked and broken down into a kaleidoscope of gender identities. It then reads into a long list of human rights, including the right to found a family and the right to education, a warrant, or rather a demand, for the protection and promotion of the interests of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities emphasis added.

What this means in practice is an all-out assault, in every sector of society, on heterosexism or heteronormativity; that is, on anything that seems to privilege the male-female binary or the nuclear family.

Here in Quebec there is even a government white paper mapping out the strategy for la lutte contre lhomophobie et lheterosexisme.

Same-sex marriage, it says, served to consecrate the legal equality of same- and opposite-sex couples; it is time now to press on to full social equality by eradicating all forms of heterosexist bias. The commandments imperiously delivered to the nations at Yogyakarta, by a self-declared panel of experts, thus find local expression in a policy replete with warnings about systemic investigations of infractions and rigorous monitoring and assessment mechanisms.

There is, then, a further vital reason why same-sex marriage must be vigorously contested, namely, that no peace is to be had by capitulation. Like it or not, the great struggle is under way. Marriage, if you please, is the Sudetenland, and its concession is the precursor to a cultural Blitzkrieg.

UATIONS JUNE 11, , PM Gay Parents and the Marriage Debate Page 1 of3 Slate is out with two pieces today on an attention-getting new study that looks at adult outcomes for children raised by parents in same-sex relationships - one by the study's author, the University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus who co-authored the excellent survey "Premarital Sex in America" , and a response by Will Saletan that tries to tease out some of the study's implications for the gay marriage debate.

The background to the study is the striking fact that even as traditional marriage has declined in the United States- marriage rates tumbling, out-of-wedlock childbirth climbing, and cohabitation becoming as respectable as wedlock- the evidence has mounted for the institution's importance to the well-being of children. A happy childhood is possible in many different environments, of course.

But a growing body of research indicates that no other parental arrangement, from single motherhood to cohabitation to shared custody, affords as many social, economic and emotional advantages as being raised by two biological parents joined in a lifelong commitment. Isabel Sawhill from the Brookings Institution and Kay Hymowitz from the Manhattan Institute have both had good recent pieces elaborating on some of these themes.

As the cause of same-sex marriage has advanced, however, a number of shtdies have suggested that gay parenting may be an exception to this rule, and that the outcomes of children raised by homosexual couples may be identical to children raised by married biological parents. Identical, or even better: One high-profile recent shtdy marshaled evidence that children oflesbian households, in particular, may have advantages over the children of straight couples.

Many of these studies, though, compared relatively small and self-selected samples of gay couples to a larger range of heterosexuals. Many relied on the parents' own assessments of their children's well-being; few followed the children into adulthood. Another just- published paper surveys some of the limits of the prior research. This is where Regnerus's study comes in: It's more comprehensive than many of its predecessors, drawing on a large survey of Americans between the ages of and comparing young adults who reported having a parent in a same-sex relationship to young adults who grew up in other family structures married, single-parent, step-parents, etc.

For this population, Regnerus's findings basically confirm the two-parent biological family's advantages. These differences were actually larger with lesbian mothers than with gay fathers, though this may reflect the fact that children with dads in gay relationships were less likely to be living with them. The same patterns held, too, when the study controlled for particular challenges facing children from same-sex households, like whether they faced bullying and lived in a more conservative part of the country.

Children do not "need a manied mother and father to h1rn out well as adults," Regne1us cautions. But neither does there appear to be a gay and lesbian exception to the general pattern that "children appear most apt to succeed well as adults when they spend their entire childhood with their married mother and father. Because it focuses on adult outcomes, Regnerus's study is necessarily a look backward. No matter where they lived or how they were treated by their peers, many of his subjects came of age when homosexuality was still marginalized and despised and gay marriage barely on the radar screen.

The majority were born to male-female couples in which one partner later came out as gay adding an extra layer of complexity and heartbreak , rather than being planned via adoption, sperm donation or in vitro fertilization. Almost none were raised in a single same-sex household for their entire childhood. Today the models of gay parenting have presumably shifted, the stability of gay households has presumably increased, and the outcomes for children may be shifting as well.

For the purposes of the gay marriage debate, then, any past disadvantages associated with being raised in same-sex households could easily be cited as evidence for why gay couples need full marriage rights now - the better to guarantee their children, existing or potential, the stability and continuity the institution provides. If a similar sh1dy a generation hence shows significant convergence between children raised in married same -sex households and children in intact biological families, it would vindicate one part of the case for same-sex marriage.

This is basically the argument that Saletan makes in his remarks: What the study shows, then, is that kids from broken homes headed by gay people develop the same problems as kids from broken homes headed by straight people. But that finding isn't meaningless. It tells us something important: We need fewer broken homes among gays, just as we do among straights.

We need to study Regnerus' sample and fix the mistakes we made 20 or 40 years ago. No more sham heterosexual marriages. No more post- parenthood self-discoveries. No more deceptions. No more affairs. And no more polarization between homosexuality and marriage. Gay parents owe their kids the same stability as straight parents. That means less talk about marriage as a right, and more about marriage as an expectation.

Same-sex marriage is a social experiment, and like most experiments it will take time to understand its consequences. We don't know how plausible Saletan's vision of wedlock and parenting running on parallel tracks for gays and straights really is.

If gay marriage gains ground on its current trajectory- state by state, steadily but still somewhat gradually, driven mostly by generational change - then there will be time to watch these trends and debate their implications.

But if the Supreme Court that is, Anthony Kennedy simple nationalizes gay marriage, there v. If gay marriage is simply a basic natural right, of course - the formal legal expression of our right to love as we wish - it shouldn't be up for reconsideration under any circumstances.

This is a widespread view of wedlock, and it may already be the dominant one. But RegnenlS's study is a reminder of why marriage has traditionally been regarded as something other than just a celebration oflove and a signifier of civic equality, and why the rationale for the institution has involved a child's rights to his or her biological parents as well as in two lovers' rights to one another.

Marriage's purpose, in this sense, has not been just to validate the consenting adults who enter into it, but to provide support and recognition for a particular way of bearing and rearing children- one whose distinctive advantages remain apparent, even as that recognition declines and disappears.

No reproduction of the materi- als contained herein is permitted without the written permission of the Institute for American Values. But marriage is also an economic institution, a powerful creator of human and social capital. Increases in divorce and unwed childbearing have broad economic implications, including larger expenditures for the federal and state governments.

This is the first-ever report that attempts to measure the taxpayer costs of family fragmentation for U. Among its findings: Even programs that result in very small decreases in divorce and unwed childbearing could yield big savings for taxpayers. The reports principal investigator is Benjamin Scafidi, an economist in the J.

The co-sponsoring organizations are grateful to Chuck Stetson and Mr. John Fetz for their generous financial support of the project. The principal investi- gator is grateful to Deanie Waddell for her expert research assistance. Affiliations are listed for identification purposes only. Any errors or omissions in this report are the responsibility of the principal investigator and not of the project advisors.

House Ways and Means Committee W. His research has focused on education and urban policy. He received his Ph. Ben was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. Ben and Lori Scafidi and their four children reside in Milledgeville, Georgia.

Why should legislators and policymakers care about marriage? Public debate on marriage in this country has focused on the social costs of family fragmentation that is, divorce and unwed childbearing , and research suggests that these are indeed extensive.

But marriage is more than a moral or social institution; it is also an economic one, a generator of social and human capital, especially when it comes to children.

Research on family structure suggests a variety of mechanisms, or processes, through which marriage may reduce the need for costly social programs.

In this study, we adopt the simplifying and extremely cautious assumption that all of the taxpayer costs of divorce and unmarried childbearing stem from the effects that family fragmentation has on poverty, a causal mechanism that is well-accepted and has been reasonably well-quantified in the literature. Based on the methodology, we estimate that family fragmentation costs U.

In appendix B, we also offer estimates for the costs of family fragmenta- tion for each state. These costs arise from increased taxpayer expenditures for antipoverty, criminal jus- tice, and education programs, and through lower levels of taxes paid by individuals who, as adults, earn less because of reduced opportunities as a result of having been more likely to grow up in poverty. If, as research suggests is likely, marriage has additional benefits to children, adults, and communities, and if those benefits are in areas other than increased income lev- els, then the actual taxpayer costs of divorce and unwed childbearing are likely much higher.

We note that even very small increases in stable mar- riage rates as a result of government programs or community efforts to strengthen marriage would result in very large savings for taxpayers. If the federal marriage initiative, for example, succeeds in reducing family fragmentation by just 1 percent, U. Because of the modest price tags associated with most federal and state marriage- strengthening programs, and the large taxpayer costs associated with divorce and unwed childbearing, even modest success rates would be cost-effective.

If this program succeeds in increasing stably married families by just three-tenths of 1 percent, it will be cost- effective in its returns to Texas taxpayers. This report is organized as follows: Section I explains why policymakers may have an interest in supporting marriage.

Sections II and III explain the methods used to estimate the taxpayer cost of family fragmentation by using evidence about the rela- tionship between family breakdown and poverty. Section IV reveals the national estimate of the taxpayer cost. Estimated costs for individual states are found in appendix B. Finally, a note to social scientists: Few structural estimates exist of the relationships needed to estimate the taxpayer costs of family fragmentation.

Therefore, we have used indirect estimates based on the assumption that marriage has no independent effects on adults or children other than the effect of marriage on poverty.

Not much attention has been focused to date on the hard, economic costs of family fragmentation, by which we mean not only the economic costs to affected individ- uals and families but also to the public purse. There are good reasons for suspecting that taxpayer costs associated with family fragmentation are substantial: To the extent that the decline of marriage increases the number of children and adults eligible for and in need of government services, costs to taxpayers will grow.

To the extent that increases in family fragmentation also independently drive social problems faced by communitiessuch as crime, domestic violence, substance abuse, and teen pregnancythe costs to taxpayers of addressing these increasing social problems are also likely to be significant.

Pointing out these concerns is not to blame the victim, but rather to launch a serious effort to determine what these costs are. If these costs are deemed substantial, then it is worth thinking carefully about how these costs can be lowered so that resources can be freed for other useful purposes.

In , a group of more than one hundred family scholars and civic leaders noted the range of public costs associated with family breakdown, concluding: Divorce and unwed childbearing create substantial public costs, paid by tax- payers.

Higher rates of crime, drug abuse, education failure, chronic illness, child abuse, domestic violence, and poverty among both adults and children bring with them higher taxpayer costs in diverse forms: more welfare expen- diture; increased remedial and special education expenses; higher day-care subsidies; additional child-support collection costs; a range of increased direct court administration costs incurred in regulating post-divorce or unwed fami- lies; higher foster care and child protection services; increased Medicaid and Medicare costs; increasingly expensive and harsh crime-control measures to compensate for formerly private regulation of adolescent and young-adult behaviors; and many other similar costs.

While no study has yet attempted precisely to measure these sweeping and diverse taxpayer costs stemming from the decline of marriage, current research suggests that these costs are likely to be quite extensive. Since the mids, at least nine states have publicly adopted a goal of strength- ening marriage, and seven states have dedicated funding often using a very small Page 9 portion of their federal TANF, or welfare, funds to various programs designed to strengthen marriage.

Evaluation is under way to determine the effectiveness of these programs. In the meantime, this study provides the first rigorous estimate of the costs to taxpayers of the decline of marriage, both at the national level and the state level. How Might Marriage Affect Taxpayers? In addition, family fragmentation seems to have negative consequences for adults as well, including lower labor supply, physical and mental illness, and a higher likelihood of commit- ting or falling victim to crime.

There are of course powerful selection effects into marriage, divorce, and unwed childbearing, and some portion of the negative outcomes for children in nonmarital families are caused by habits, traits, circumstances, and disadvantages among adults that may also lead to divorce and nonmarital childbearing. Depending on how one looks at it, the out-of-wedlock birth may be said to result from the fathers low-earnings or the mother and childs poverty may be said to result from the out-of-wedlock birth.

Untangling what causes what is a challenge faced by many researchers who study the family. Researchers respond to this challenge by using a variety of methods to control for unobserved selection effects that is, to account for other factors that could be explaining the finding and to tease out causal relationships that is, to untangle what causes what.

In this case, the idea that family fragmentation contributes to child poverty has been studied extensively and is widely accepted. Elizabeth Ananat and Guy Michaels, for example, use an unusual predictor of whether a married couple will stay married the predictor is whether their firstborn child is a male, since research has shown that divorce is less likely when this is the case. With this predictor they are able to study married couples who do and do not divorce and conclude that divorce significantly increases the odds that a woman with children is poor.

Less than 1 percent of these women and children live in poverty if their first marriage is intact, while more than 24 percent of divorced women with children are living in poverty. For example, Robert Lerman used the Current Population Survey CPS and simu- lated plausible marriages by matching single mothers to single males who were the same race and were similar in age and education levels.

He found that if these theoretical marriages occurred they would reduce poverty by 80 percent among these single-mother households. Most research on this topic, by contrast, finds that marriage leads to a modest increase in male labor supply, which would further reduce poverty rates.

David Ribar did a useful survey of the literature on the impact of marriage on mens earnings. These studies find that over 80 percent of poverty is related to changes in family structure, such as increases in households headed by single mothers.

Nevertheless, even studies that attempt to control for these factors strongly suggest that family fragmentation negatively affects the income available to single parents and their children. Does Family Fragmentation Increase Crime? In addition to poverty, family fragmentation also appears to have large effects on rates of crime, according to three separate bodies of literature.

For example, research that considers entire communities has found a strong associ- ation between the percent of single-parent households and crime rates. In one case, Robert OBrien and Jean Stockard found that increases in the proportion of adoles- cents born outside of marriage were linked to significant increases in homicide arrest rates for fifteen to nineteen year olds. In one study Cynthia Harper and Sara McLanahan control for a large number of demographic and other characteristics and find that boys reared in single-mother households and cohabitating or living together households are Page 12 typically more than twice as likely to commit a crime that leads to incarceration, when compared to children who grow up with both their parents.

With a unique data set of former juvenile offenders spanning several decades, Robert Sampson and his colleagues find evidence that marriage leads these former juvenile offenders to commit fewer crimes as adults, even when con- trolling for unobserved selection effects.

A stable marriage might reduce the likelihood of domestic violence, alcohol abuse, and parental depression, and might increase the human and social capital available to children in the home in ways that independent of income improve childrens educational and other outcomes.

Two parents in the home might provide more effective supervision of adolescents, reducing the risk of delinquent activities. At the same time, divorce may be some- times desirable.

For example, about one-third of marriages ending in divorce are high conflict marriages, and children, on average, appear to be better off when those marriages end. We make this simplifying assumption because the effect of marriage on poverty has been established, is widely accepted, and can be reason- ably well-quantified based on existing data.

These estimates include calculations of foregone tax revenue in income taxes, FICA Social Security and Medicare taxes, and state and local taxes as a result of family fragmentation. It is important to recognize that if family fragmentation has additional negative effects on child and adult well-being that operate independently of incomeand if these effects increase the numbers of children or adults who need and are served by taxpayer-funded social programs then our methodology will significantly underestimate taxpayer costs.

For example, if family fragmentation increases the number of children who suffer from chronic illnesses, 27 these additional costs to taxpayers would not be reflected in the esti- mates provided by this study.

To put it another way, the methodology we use assumes that marriage would not improve the habits, mores, or other behaviors of adults or children in ways that lead to reduced social problems or increased productivity. To obtain an estimate of the taxpayer costs of family fragmentation, this study uses the literature and information already described to make three key assumptions: Assumption 1: Marriage lifts zero households headed by a single male out of poverty.

Assumption 2: Marriage lifts 60 percent of households headed by a single female out of poverty. Assumption 3: The share of expenditures on government antipoverty programs that is due to family fragmentation is equal to the percent of poverty that results from family fragmentation. They are more likely to lead to an underestimate of the actual taxpayer costs of family fragmentation rather than an overestimate.

Assumption 2 is based on the discussion on pages of this report, specifically the empirical results provided by Ananat and Michaels and Thomas and Sawhill. That means not all individuals or households poten- tially eligible to receive funding or services under these programs receive them.

For non-entitlement programs, savings realized from increases in marriage and marital stability could be reaped by taxpayers or the savings might be passed on to other poor people. The next steps in our study were finding ways to estimate any increased costs to the justice system caused by family fragmentation and any foregone tax payments that would result from eliminating family fragmentation.

These two sets of calcula- tions require some discussion. Evidence suggests that boys raised in single-parent households are likely to commit crimes at much higher rates than boys raised in married households.

In this analysis, we are following Harry Holzer and his colleagues. They created a methodology to estimate the impact of eradicat- ing childhood poverty on costs to the U. One cost they consider is the cost to the justice systemwhich includes courts, police, prisons, and jails. Essentially, based on several assumptions taken from the empirical literature on crime, they report that 24 percent of crime is caused by childhood poverty.

See details of this calculation in table A. To estimate the impact of family fragmentation on foregone tax revenues, we must estimate the increase in taxable income that would result from marriage. We again make the simplifying assumption that marriage has no behavioral effect; in other words, marriage would not increase the labor supply of men and would therefore have no impact on the taxable earnings of single parents who marry.

Again, given the rich literature on how marriage impacts male labor supply, 37 this is a cautious assumption, which increases our confidence that our analysis does not overestimate the actual taxpayer costs of the decline of marriage. Page 16 Similarly, we assume that all of the effects of family fragmentation on childrens future earnings capacity operate only through their impact on rates of childhood poverty. Given the rich but difficult-to-quantify body of evidence that married par- ents contribute to increasing the human and social capital of their children in other ways in addition to income , 38 this decision represents another simplifying but cau- tious assumption, which increases our confidence that our results will not overesti- mate the taxpayer costs.

There is good evidence on the impact of childhood poverty on future productivity. To translate this data into an estimate of tax losses from losses in future productiv- ity, we must make simplifying assumptions about tax rates. For this analysis, we assume that all of the increase in earnings is taxed at the 10 percent rate for U. To estimate losses in state and local taxation, we use the national average percentage of income that is paid in state and local taxes11 percentas reported by the Tax Foundation on April 4, Here is our estimate: Family fragmentation costs U.

Table 7 shows an itemized estimate. To find the cost of family fragmentation in your state, turn to page Page 17 these judgments with the precision necessary to quantify them, we left this program out of the analysis.

While some fraction of currently cohabiting taxpayers might pay a marriage penalty if they were to marry, the overall poverty-reducing effects of marriage are likely to move many more families off the EITC rolls. See appendix A for more detail. Similarly, some fraction of public school budgets is likely spent in dealing with social problems created by divorce and unmarried childbearing.

Children whose parents stay married are less likely to repeat a grade, exhibit conduct disorders requiring special education outlays, or require expensive special education services generally.

Again, none of these costs are reflected in our analysis. We have also excluded one of the largest taxpayer costs on the book: Medicaid for the elderly and Medicare for unmarried adults. They are excluded partly because most people do not think of older single adults when they think of fragmented families. But high rates of divorce and failure to marry mean that many more Americans enter late middle-age and beyond without a spouse to help them man- age chronic illnesses, or to help care for them if they become disabled.

Third, we have ignored for the purposes of this analysis any behavioral effects of marriage. We have assumed that all the benefits of marriage come solely from reduced rates of poverty for children, ignoring the evidence that stably married par- ents provide human and social capital to their children other than income in ways that increase childrens well-being and reduce the likelihood they will need or incur expensive government services, from repeating grades at school to ending up in the child protective system or the juvenile justice system.

Similarly, we have assumed no behavioral effects of marriage on fathers earning capacity. In reality, existing data shows that lower-income married couples are far less likely to choose to use gov- ernment benefits for which they are eligible than single-mother households.

Overall, single mothers are roughly twice as likely to take advantage of government benefits for which they are eligible than are low-income married couples. What Are the Policy Implications? First, public concern about the decline of marriage need not be based only on the important negative consequences for child well-being or on moral concerns, as impor- tant as these concerns may be.

High rates of family fragmentation impose extraordi- nary costs on taxpayers. Reducing these costs is a legitimate concern of government, policymakers, and legislators, as well as civic leaders and faith communities.

Second, even very small increases in stable marriage rates would result in very large returns to taxpayers. Given the modest cost of government and civic marriage-strengthening programs, even more modest success rates in strengthening marriages would be cost-effective. Efforts are currently underway to evaluate the impact of these programs. These costs are due to increased taxpayer expenditures for antipoverty, criminal jus- tice and school nutrition programs, and through lower levels of taxes paid by indi- viduals whose adult productivity has been negatively influenced by growing up in poverty caused by family fragmentation.

This figure represents a minimum or lower-bound estimate. If, as research sug- gests is likely, marriage has additional economic and social benefits to children, adults, and communitiesbenefits that reduce the need for government services and that operate through mechanisms other than increased incomethen the actu- al taxpayer costs of the retreat from marriage are likely much higher.

Finding new ways to strengthen mar- riage and reduce unnecessary divorce and unmarried childbearing is a legitimate and pressing public concern. Because of the very large taxpayer costs associated with high rates of divorce and unmarried childbearing, and the modest price tags associated with most marriage- strengthening initiatives, state and federal marriage-strengthening programs with even very modest success rates will be cost-effective for taxpayers.

If cohabitating households were to marry, most of them receiving transfer payments would receive a marriage bonus from the federal tax and trans- fer system. The use of Holzers research in this study exaggerates the actual impact of low income on childhood poverty. The use of Thomas and Sawhills research in this study overestimates the impact of marriage on reducing poverty.

The main assumption of this studythat the percentage of government program costs due to family fragmentation is proportional to the amount of poverty due to family fragmentationoverestimates the taxpayer costs. If cohabitating couples were to marry, they would receive a marriage bonus from the federal tax and transfer system.

Gregory Acs and Elaine Maag report that of the 1. Thus, if the cohabitating adults in these households were to marry, taxpayers would face increased expenditures for these two social programs. In table 7, we ignore any costs of family frag- mentation on the EITC. We do so because of complications such as the one pointed out by Acs and Maag that some households would get higher EITC payments if they became married households and nothing else about them e.

If marriage, as discussed in the next subsection, would decrease net expenditures on the EITC, then the approach used in this study would underestimate the taxpayer costs of family fragmentation by ignoring the EITC. The use of Holzers results in this study overestimates the impact of low income in childhood on adult outcomes.

We rely on results from Harry Holzers research to make two calculationscosts to the justice system and increased tax payments. Holzer and his colleagues make a case that the assumptions that underlie their estimates are cautious, and we find their case persuasive. However, they make a broad interpretation of the relationship between childhood poverty and life outcomes as follows: [W]e interpret the causal effects of childhood poverty quite broadly. They include not only the effects of low parental incomes, but also of the entire range of environmental factors associated with poverty in the U.

We define poverty broadly in this way in part because researchers have been unable to clearly separate low income from other factors that affect the life chances of the poor, and also because the set of potential policy levers that might reduce the disadvantages experienced by poor children go beyond just increasing family incomes.

Of course, in defining poverty this way, we also assume that the entire range of negative influences associated with low family incomes would ultimately be eliminated if all poor children were instead raised in non-poor households. Thus, reliance on Holzers estimates of the costs of childhood poverty could potentially overstate any bene- fits of marriage that come from marriage reducing childhood poverty. One way to think about this issue carefully is to list the broad pathways i.

Low income may mean lower quality food, shelter, transportation, and medical care for children. Low income may necessitate living in worse neighborhoods fewer parks, more crime, less social trust , and poor neighborhood quality may adversely affect child well-being.

Low income may mean attending worse schools. Low income may negatively affect parenting processes warmth, monitor- ing, discipline because of the stress economic hardship places on other- wise competent parents. Page 23 e. Conversely, parents may have low incomes because they are less motivated and skilled and this lesser competence may be exhibited in parenting as well.

Low income may hurt children because low-income families are more likely to have only one parent present, and therefore only half the social and human capital available to the child. If absence of money itself is the root cause of the negative effects of childhood poverty, then any strategy that increases income will increase child well-being.

With more money, parents can provide better nutrition, education, housing, and medical care. They can move to better neighborhoods and enjoy better schools. It may be the case, however, that not all the potential pathways through which child- hood poverty negatively affects child well-being can be treated with more money.

More money may lower the income stress but not the emotional stress of single parenting, for example. Most of the rules of the game have to do with rights and obligations feature 2 but the overall aim is winning feature 3 and many of the intervening steps are procedural feature 4. For example, several of the rights and obligations are conditional. Thus if a batter has one strike or three balls, that does not so far give him any further rights or obligations, but it establishes condi- tional rights and obligations: two more strikes and he is out, one more ball and he is walked to first base.

Such conditional rights and obligations are typical of institutional structures. For exam- ple, in American universities, after so many years of service you are entitled to be considered for a tenure position. I do not know who first thought of it or where I first heard it, but it has become part of the oral tradition. My aim is to try to state the general form of the content of the Y status-function when we go from X to Y in the formula "X counts as Yin C. Furthermore, because there are strict limits on what sorts of powers can be cre- ated by collective acceptance, we ought to be able to state the gen- eral forms of the content of the Y term in a very small number of formulae.

Following this line of thought, we see that the primitive struc- ture of the collective intentionality imposed on the X term, where X counts as Yin C, is We accept S has power S does A. Formally speaking, one can perform a number of operations on this basic structure, and these operations exemplify several dis- tinctions I have made. As mentioned earlier, there is a distinction between positive and negative conventional powers, the distinc- tion between enablements and requirements.

There is also a dis- tinction between the creation and destruction of conventional powers. Be- cause the status is constituted by its collective acceptance, and be- cause the function, in order to be performed, requires the status, it is essential to the functioning that there be continued accep- tance of the status.

The moment, for example, that all or most of tl1e members of a society refuse to acknowledge property rights, as in a revolution or other upheaval, property rights cease to exist in that society. One of the most fascinating-and terrifying-features of the era in which I write this is tl1e steady erosion of acceptance of large institutional structures around the world. The breakdown of national identification in favor of ethnic tribalism occurs in places as various as Bosnia, Canada, tl1e former Czechoslovakia, Turkey, and many American universities.

In several African coun- tries there is no way to tell where the army ends and tl1e armed bands begin or who is a "military leader" and who a "warlord.

The temptation in all these cases is to think that in the end it all depends on who has the most armed might, that brute facts will always prevail over institutional facts. But that is not really true. The guns are ineffectual except to those who are prepared to use them in cooperation with others and in structures, however informal, with recognized lines of au- thority and command.

And all of that requires collective inten- tionality and institutional facts. One of the great illusions of the era is that "Power grows out of the barrel of a gun. The real power resides with the person who sits at a desk and makes noises through his or her mouth and marks on paper.

Such peo- ple typically have no weapons other than, at most, a ceremonial pistol and a sword for dress occasions. Because institutions survive on acceptance, in many cases an elaborate apparatus of prestige and honor is invoked to secure recognition and maintain acceptance.

Charles de Gaulle's behav- ior regarding France, both during and after World War II, was a continuous illustration of these points. By constantly insisting on the honor and prestige of France, by pretending that an indepen- dent French government continued to exist during the war, and by constantly insisting that other national leaders acknowledge him as an equal, de Gaulle helped to re-create and maintain the French nation-state.

And the point is completely general. Where the institution demands more of its participants than it can extract by force, where consent is essential, a great deal of pomp, cere- mony, and razzmatazz is used in such a way as to suggest that something more is going on than simply acceptance of the for- mula X counts as Y in C. Armies, courtrooms, and to a lesser ex- tent universities employ ceremonies, insignia, robes, honors, ranks, and even music to encourage continued acceptance of the structure.

Jails find these devices less necessary because they have brute force. One way to create institutional facts in situations where the in- stitution does not exist is simply to act as if it did exist. The classic case is the Declaration of Independence in There was no in- stitutional structure of the form X counts as Y in C, whereby a group of the King's subjects in a British Crown Colony could cre- ate their independence by a performative speech act.

But the Founding Fathers acted as if their meeting in Philadelphia was a context C such that by performing a certain declarative speech act X they created an institutional fact of independence Y. The formula "X counts as Y" applies to both the creation and the continued existence ofthe phenomenon, because the constitutive rule is a device for creating the facts, and in generaC the existence of the fact is constituted by its having been created and not yet de- stroyed.

Thus going through the ceremony counts as getting mar- ried, and getting married and not subsequently dying, getting divorced, or having the marriage annulled counts as being mar- ried. Saying "I declare the parliament open" counts as opening the parliament, and for the parliament to have been opened and not subsequently closed counts as its being in session.

Status Indicators Since institutional facts exist only by human agreement, in many cases they require official representations, what I earlier called status indicators, because the existence of institutional facts can- not in general be read off from brute physical facts of the situa- tion.

War is an exception for the obvious reason that the brute facts-people killing one another on a large scale, for example-- usually make official indicators unnecessary. Money does notre- quire additional documentation, because it is itself a form of documentation. It says on the bill that it is "One Dollar" or "Ten Pounds," etc.

Even in preliterate societies coins are easily recognizable as such, and thus such features as shape and size mark the conventional fact that the object is a coin. Stocks and bonds, as well as credit cards and checks, also speak for themselves.

Likewise, speech acts are self-identifYing for those who know the language. In complex societies common status indicators are passports and driver's licenses. They indicate the status of the bearer as someone who is legally entitled to travel to and from foreign coun- tries or is legally qualified to drive. The most common device for status indication is the written signature. The signature on the document persists in a way that the live pel'formative does not and thus is able to play its role as a status indicator.

The function of status indicators is al- ways epistemic. We need to distinguish the role of language in constituting the institutional fact, a role I described in Chapter 3, from the role of language in identifying that which has already been constituted, even though the same word OJ' symbol may serve both roles. I am describing this latter role when I speak of status indicators. Some status indicators need not be explicitly linguistic, that is, they need not be actual words.

The most obvious examples are wedding rings and uniforms. But both are nonetheless symbolic in a way that is just like language, and wearing a wedding ring or a uniform is performing a type of speech act. Such indicators serve not only epistemic functions but other functions as well- expressive, ceremonial, aesthetic, and most importantly, constitu- tive.

Of course, the uniform does not constitute being a policeman, but it does symbolize a status-function; and that sym- bolization, in some form or other, is essential to the existence of the status function. Throughout this book I have tried to empha- size that in institutional facts language is not only descriptive but constitutive of reality.

The Hierarchy of li'acts: From Brute to Institutional There is an implicit hierarchical taxonomy in the account I have been giving, and I would now like to try to make it explicit. The world of Supreme Court decisions and of the collapse of commu- nism is the same world as the world of the formation of planets and of the collapse of the wave function in quantum mechanics. One of the aims of this book is to show how that can be so, how the world of institutions is part of the "physical" world.

Just as mental states are higher-level features of our nervous system, and conse- quently there is no opposition between the mental and the physi- cal, the mental is simply a set of physical features ofthe brain at a higher level of description than that of neurons; so there is no op- position between culture and biology; culture is the form that bi- ology takes. There could not be an opposition between culture and biology, because if there were, biology would always win.

Dif- ferent cultures are different forms that an underlying biological substructure can be manifested in. But if that is right, then there ought to be a more or less continuous story that goes from an on- tology of biology to an ontology that includes cultural and institu- tional forms; there should not be any radical break. The thesis I have been arguing is that there is no radical break.

What is special about culture is the manifestation of collective intentionality and, in particular, the collective assignment of functions to phenomena where the func- tion cannot be performed solely in virtue ofthe sheer physical fea- tures of the phenomena.

From dollar bills to cathedrals, and from football games to nation-states, we are constantly encountering new social facts where the facts exceed the physical features of the underlying physical reality. However, though there is a continuum from the chemistry of neurotransmitters such as seretonin and norepinephrine to the content of such mental states as believing that Proust is a better novelist than Balzac, mental states are distinguished from other physical phenomena in that they are either conscious or poten- tially so.

Where there is no accessibility to consciousness, at least in principle, there are no mental states. Similarly, though there is a continuity in collective behavior between lions attacking a hyena and the Supreme Court making a constitutional decision, institu- tional structures have a special feature, namely, symbolism.

The biological capacity to make something symbolize-or mean, or express-something beyond itself is the basic capacity that under- lies not only language but all other forms of institutional reality as well. Language is itself an institutional structure because it in- valves the imposition of a special kind of function on brute physi- cal entities that have no natural relation to that function.

Certain sorts of sounds or marks count as words and sentences, and cer- tain sorts of utterances count as speech acts. The agentive func- tion is that of representing, in one or other of the possible speech act modes, objects and states of affairs in the world.

Agents who can do this collectively have the fundamental precondition of all other institutional structures: Money, property, marriage, govern- ment, and universities all exist by forms of human agreement that essentially involve the capacity to symbolize. It is not che son of ching that could have been undertaken a hundred years ago or even ftfcy years ago. Even questions about language and society were construed as largely epistemic: How do we know what ocher people mean when they calk?

How do we know chat the statements we make about social reality are really true? How do we verify them? These are interesting questions, but I regard them as peripheral. One of the agreeable fearures of writing in the present era is that we have in large part overcome our three-hundred-year obsession with epistemology and skepticism.

No doubt many interesting epistemic questions remain, bur in this investigation I will mostly ignore them. It is an odd fact of intellectual history that the great philosophers of the past cenrury had little or nothing to say about social oncology.

But if they did not address the problems that interest me in this book, they did develop techniques of analysis and approaches to language that I intend to use. Standing on their shoulders, as well as on my own earlier work, I am going to try ro look at a terrain they did nor see.

And why is this an appropriate subject for philosophy and not the proper domain of empirical sciences? No doubt this will all be done too swiftly, and to get a full understanding you will have to read the rest of the book. But I want you to see from the start what I am up to and why I think it is important. This work proceeds on the basis of a cenain methodological assumption: at the very beginning we have to assume that human society, a society that is importantly different from all other animal societies known to me, is based on cenain rather simple principles.

Indeed, I will argue that its institutional strucrures are based on exactly one principle. I will have a great deal more to say about this later, bur at present, I can say that for the status functions to aCtually work, there must be collective acceptancwr recognition of the object or person as having that status. In earlier writings, I tended to emphasize acceptance, but several commentators, especially Jennifer Hudin, thought this might imply approval.

I did not mean it to imply approval. Acceptance, as I conscrue ic, goes all the way from enthusiastic endorsement co grudging acknowledgment, even the acknowledgment that one is simply helpless to do anything about, or reject, the institutions in which one finds oneself.

So in this book, to avoid this misunderstanding, I will use "recognition" or sometimes the disjunction "recognition or acceptance. I want to emphasiz. StatuS functions depend on collective intentionaliry. In this book I devote a whole chapter to collective inrentionaliry, so I will not tell you about it now, except to say that a remarkable fact about human beings and some animals is that they have the capaciry to cooperate.

They can cooperate not only in the actions that they perform, but they can even have shared attitudes, shared desires, and shared beliefs. An interesting theoretical question, by no means resolved by animal psychologists, 3 is, To what extent does collective inten- tionaliry exist in other species? Bur one thing is dear. It exists in the human species. It is only in virtue of colleccive recognition that this piece of paper is a rwenry-dollar bill, that Barack Obama is president of the United Scates, char I am a citizen of rhe United States, that the Giants beat the Dodgers three co cwo in eleven innings, and chat the car in the driveway is my properry.

But why are they so important? Without exception, the status functions carry what I call "deontic powers. I introduce the expression "deontic powers" to cover all of these, both the positive deoncic powers e.

An example of a conditional deontic power would be my power to vote in the Democratic primary ifl register as a Democrat. I have the power to vote, but only conditional on registration. An example of a disjunct- ive deontic power would be my power to register either as a Democrat or as a Republican, but not both.

And how do they do chat? Deomic powers have a unique trait, again, I think, uncommon and perhaps unknown in the animal Jcingdom: once recognized, they provide us with reasons for acting that are independent of our inclinations and desires. If I recognize an object as "your propeny," for example, then I recognize that I am under an obligation not to take it or use it without your permission.

Even ifl am a thief, I recognjze that I am violating your rights when I appropriate your property. Indeed, the profession of being a thief would be meaningless without the belief in the institution of private property, because what the thief hopes to do is to take somebody else's private property and make it his own, thus reinforcing his commitment and the society's commitment to the institution of private property.

So statUs functions are the glue that holds society together. They are created by collective imencionality and they function by carrying deontic powers. But that raises a very interesting question: how on Earth could human beings create such a marvelous feature and how do they maintain it in existence once it is created?

I will put off answering chat question until we get to the discussion in the next section, "Status Functions as Created by Declarations. Our favorite examples of rules regulate antecedently existing furms ofbehavior. The order is aimed at causing obedience; the promise is aimed at causing fulfillment. In these cases it is not the aim of the speech act to match an independently existing reality.

Rather, the aim is to change reality so that it will match the content of the speech act. Ifl promise to come and see you on Wednesday, the point of the utterance is to bring about a change in reality by creating a reason for me co come and see you on Wednesday and thus getting me co keep the promise. If I order you to leave che room, the aim is to cry to get you co leave the room by way of obeying my order, co get your behavior to match the content of che speech act. I say of these cases that they have the world-to-word direction of fit.

Their point is co get the world to change to match the content of the speech act. I represent the upward or world-to-word direction of fit with an upward arrow T.

There are some other speech aces that I won't go into at present, which don't have either of these directions of fit but where the fit is taken for granted, such as when I apologize for stepping on your foot or thank you for giving me a million dollars.

But they are not relevant to our presem inquiry, so I will put off their discussion until Chapter 4 There is a fuscinating class of speech acts that combine the word-to-world 1 and the world-to-word i direction of fit, which have both directions of ftt simultaneously in a single speech act!. These are cases where we change reality to match the propositional content of the speech act and thus achieve world- to-word direction of fit.

But, and chis is the amazing part, we succeed in so doing because we represent the reality as being so changed. More than three decades ago, I baptized these as "Declarations. The most famous cases of Declarations are what Austin called "performa- tive utterances. Thus you make it the case that you promise by saying, "I promise. One of the primary theoretical points of this book is ro make a very srrong claim. With the important exception of language itself, all of institutional real icy, and therefore, in a sense, all of human civilization, is created by speech 6.

This discussion so far reinforces a p,oiot made in my earlier work, The Construction of Socia[ Reality, and that is that all of insritULional reality is created by linguistic representation. You do nor always need actual words of existing languages, but you need some sorts of symbolic representation for the institutional fact co exisL As I noted before, there is, however, an interesting and crucial class of exceptions: linguistic phenomena themselves.

Thus, the existence of a Dedaration is itself an institutional fact and thus a status function. Bur does it itself require a further Declaration to exist? It does not. Indeed, if it did, we would have an infinite regress. But now, what is it about language rhac makes it a system of status functions that is exempt from the general requirement that all status functions are created by Status Func- tion Dedaracions?

We use semantics to create a realiry that goes beyond semantics, and semantics to create powers that go beyond semantic powers. But the linguistic facts, the fact that such and such an utterance counts as a statement or a promise, are not facts where the semantics goes beyond the semantics. On the contrary, semantics is sufficient to account for the existence of the statement or the promise.

The semantic content of the speech act by itself cannot make money or private property, but the semantic content of the speech act by itself is sufficient to make statemenu, promises, requests, and questions. The difference is in the nature of the meanings involved, and I will explain that difference in much further detail in Chapters 4 and 5 At first sight, it might seem that formulae of the form "X counts as Yin C" function the same for language as they do for other institutional facts.

Thus, it is indeed the case that an appropriate urrerance of the sentence "Snow is white" counts as the making of the statement that snow is white, as it is the case that because he meets certain conditions, Barack Obama counu as the president of the United States.

Bur in spite of this apparent similariry, there is a huge difference, and it has to do with the nature of meaning. The meaning of the sentence "Snow is white" by itself is sufficient to guarantee that an appropriate utterance will constitute the making of a statement to the effect that snow is white.

But the meaning of the sentence "Obama is president" by itself is in no way sufficient to guarantee that Obama is in fact president. In the case of the sentence, formulae of the form "X counts as Yin C" describe the constitution of meaning and not a separate linguistic operation that we perform.

I will have more to say about this distinction in Chapter 5 V. How This Book Fits into the Overall Philosophical Project I work from an overall philosophical vision that I will now summarize so that the reader can see how each individual claim fits into the overall pattern. The mind has a beautiful and symmetrical formal structure. By "formal" I just mean that the structural features of beliefs, desires, perceptions, intentions, and so on can be specified independencly of any particular contents.

Basic to chat formal structure is the distinction between the "cognitive faculties"- percepcion, memory, and belief-and the "conative and volitional cies"- desire, prior intention, and intention-in-action. These rwo sets relate co realicy in quite different ways.

I have already introduced the notion of direction of fit as a feature of speech acts, but I hope it is obvious that it applies equally well co menc. And desires and intentions, like orders and promises, have the upward or or word direction of fie f.

Beliefs and percepcions, like statements, are supposed to represent how things are in the world, and in that sense they are supposed to fit the world; they have mind-to-world direction of fir 1. The conative-volitional states such as desires, prior intentions, and intencions-in-action, like orders and promises, have the direction of fit j. They are not supposed to represent how things are but how we would like them to be or how we intend co make them be. In addicion to these rwo faculties, there is a third, imagination, where the propositional conrent is not supposed to fit realicy in the way that the propositional contents in cognition and volition are supposed to fit, but which nonetheless functions crucially in creating social and institutional realicy.

Imagination, like fiction, has a propositional content. If, for example, I tcy to imagine what it would have been like to Jive in ancient Rome, it is a bit like giving a ficrional account of my life in ancient Rome in chat in neither case am I actually committed to something having occurred to me in fact.

In both imagination and fiction the world-relating commitment is abandoned and we have a propositional content without any commitment that it represent with either direction of fit. These topics form the subject matter of most of the next chapter, and their extension to collective menc. You have the capacity to create states of affairs with a new deontology; you have the capacity to create rights, duties, and obligations by performing and getting other people to accept certain sorts of speech acts.

Once you and others recognize someone as a leader, and an object as someone's property, and a man or a woman as someone with whom you have a special bond, then you have already created a public deontology.

You have already created public reasons for accion that are desire-independent. But notice how the language that we use to describe these phenomena functions. It creates them. The language constitutes them in an important way.

Because the phenom- ena in question are what they are in virtue of being represenred as what they are. The representariom, which are parrly constitutive of institutional reality, the reality of government, private properry, and marriage as well as money, universities, and cocktail parties, is essentially linguistic.

The maneuver I am describing has che logical form of a Declaration, as I claimed in Chapter 1. We make something the case by representing it as being the case. So when I say "That woman is my wife" or "He is our leader" or "That is my hut," these categorizations contain two levels of meaning.

At one level there is simply a preexisting relationship; but when I describe that relationship in a certain way, when I say chat the person or object now "counts as" something more than the exiscing physical factS, I am adding a deontology to the person or object-and that deontology extends into the future.

That deontology is created by a Status Function Declaration. Compositionality figures essentially in the creation of social and institu- tional reality. Given compositional icy, the animal can do much more than just represent existing states of affairs; it can represent states of affairs that do not exist buc which can be brought into existence by getcing a community to accept a certain class of speech aces.

So, for example, the man who says, "This is my property," or the woman who says, "This is my husband" may be doing more than just reporting an antecedently existing state of affairs; he or she may be creating a state of affairs by Declaration. A person who can gee other people to accept this Declaration will succeed in creating an institutional reality that did not exist prior to that Oeclaracion. We do not yet have performatives, because they require specific performa- cive verbs or ocher performative expressions; but we do have Declarations with their double direction of fit.

Much of rhis is invisible ro us. Institutional facts are without exception constituted by language, but the functioning of language is hard to see. This might seem an odd thing co say because we are often conscious of language when we engage in a conversation, receive a telephone call, pay our bills, answer our e-mail, and so on. We are aware of such things as the actual conscious speech acts we perform, :wd we are often aware of such unimportant things as the accents with which ocher people speak, but the constitutive role o flanguage in the power relations in whid1 we are immersed is, for the mosc pare, invisible to us.

One of the advantages of living in other cultures is that one can become more acutely conscious of the different and unfamiliar institutional struc- tures. But at home one is less aware of the sea of institutionaljry. I get up in the morning in a house jointly by me and my wift. I dri ve to do my job on the campus in a car that is registered to both of us, and I can drive kgally only because I am the holder of a valid California driver's licmst.

On the way, I illegally answer a cell phone call from an old friend. Once I am in my office the weight of institutional reality increases. I am jn the Philosophy Department of rhe of California in Berkaey.

I am surrounded by students, colleaguu, and employus. I have tried, in Chapter 4, to account for language, and now I want to use chat account to explain nonlinguistic institutional facts such as money, properry, government, and marriage. There is an awkwardness in terminology that I need to clarify. I want to contrast "linguistic" institutional faces such as the fact that someone stated that it is raining from "nonlinguistic" institutional faces such as the fact that Obama is president.

But on my own account all arc created and lingui! So it can be misleading to describe some of them as "nonlinguistic. The powers of the presidency are created by semantics, but the powers in question go beyond the powers of semantics. I name the former class "linguistic" and the latter class "nonlinguistic," but I do not mean to imply that the nonlinguistic are not linguistically created and maintained.

A main aim of this chapter is to explain exactly how. From now on, when I say "institutional fact" I mean "nonlinguistic institutional fact" unless otherwise noted. I want to answer the following questions: What are the procedures by which we create institutional reality? What is the distinction between the initial creation and the subsequent continuation of existence of institutional faces?

How is it possible to create institutional facts without a preexisting institution? The general form for the creation of status functions is this: We or D make it the case by Declaration that theY scarus function ex.

The point of adding this extra clause is to make it clear that we are not just creati ng Y status functions for their own sake but to assign powers- positive, negative, conditional, and so on-to actual people by reuuing them to the Y status fonctions created.

These relations can vary with the cype of status function in question. In the case of the presidency, the person is identical with the bearer of the Y starus function. In the case of money, the person is the possessor of the money. In the case of private property, the person empowered is the owner of the private property.

In the case of corporations, specific persons have specific powers and obligations. So far chen, we have introduced an operator that creates a status function, and then within the scope of that operator, we have introduced powers chat attach to the status function. The next step is to show the form in which the recognition of the status function is essential to its operation: We collectively recognize Y exists inC and because SRY S has the power S does A.

In order for the collective recognition to enable the functioning of the deontic power, both the existence of the status function and irs relation to S must be within the scope of the collective recognition. The Continued Maintenance of Institutional Reality: More Status Function Declarations We need both collective intentionality and the assignment of function to enable these operations to work in acrual societies. Unless che institutional ['lets Jre collecrivdy recognized or accepted and the participants understand the deontol- ogy carried by status functions, rhe institutional facts will not lock into human rationality an :will nor provide reasom for action.

For example, unless there is some form of collective recognition or acceptance of property rights, and unless the parricipants have the concept of a "right" in the first place, the system of private property will not work, nor will it even be intelligible. The actual complexities will introduce special features. For example, you do not need a separate attitude of recognition or acceptance for institutional facts within a preexisting institutional structure.

Further Questions Now that we have stated the general theory, we need to answer the following questions: 1. What is the point of doing this? How do we benefit from these institutions and institutional facts?

How do we get away with it? It seems chat we are inventing a reality out of nothing. If institutional facts have to be believed to exist, in order to exist, chen how can we discover new and surprising information about them? How are surprising discoveries in the social sciences possible? What is the role of imagination in creating institutional real icy? I have already answered some of these questions implicitly, but I now want to make the answers explicit.

Why do we create these elaborate institutional structures such as money, government, property, and universities? There is no single purpose served by all human institutions, and indeed, institutional reality is almost as various as human reality itself. But, I have argued, there is a common element that runs through all or nearly all institutions, and that is that they are enabling structures that increase human power in many different ways.

Think what life would be like if we did not have money, schools, property rights, and above all, language. Some social theorists have seen institutional facts as essentially constraining.

Catlin ed. Sarah A. Solovay and John M. Mueller, Glencoe, ll: Free Press, Moreover, it is perfectly plain to anyone following the fight closely that same-sex marriage is merely a proximate goal -- something to be abandoned as quickly as it was invented, when its work is done. Can it really be worth fighting then? The answer is yes, for reasons that become clear when we have taken account of the work it is meant to do.

And what is that work? Positively, to normalize homosexual relationships. Negatively, to de-normalize heterosexual monogamy. Those who claim that they want homosexual relationships to be more like monogamous heterosexual relationships may or may not be sincere, but they represent no significant constituency. Now, some think that this larger project can be left to market forces.

But others think that heterosexual monogamy, as the source of widespread discrimination against alternative sexualities and lifestyles, must be repudiated as a social standard.

Same-sex marriage is the tool of choice for doing that. By redefining marriage as a union of two or more persons, rather than as the union of one man and one woman, the offending norm is removed from the body politic with a single incision. Afterwards, a wider assault on homophobia and heterosexism can follow. Double-Edged Knife Tools need to be crafted, of course, and social debates carefully framed.

That has already been done with remarkable skill. The knife that is poised to remove the traditional definition of marriage from America has been honed at both edges. The one edge is shaped by an appeal to our best instincts -- the love of liberty, and of liberty in love.

This is the emotive edge, flashing with winsome pictures of same-sex families and disturbing anecdotes about marginalization. It also plays on feelings of repression and guilt. As one young woman quoted in an Associated Press story put it: They love and they have the right to love.

And we cant tell somebody how to love. The other edge is the harder, more rational edge, shaped by an appeal to autonomy and equality. Not content with the anecdotal, it drives home the case for rights -- rights not merely to love as one sees fit but to equal recognition of that love by the state.

In America, this knife was first wielded in Massachusetts by the Goodridge court, which concluded as follows: Barred access to the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage, a person who enters into an intimate, exclusive union with another of the same sex is arbitrarily deprived of membership in one of our communitys most rewarding and cherished institutions. That exclusion is incompatible with the constitutional principles of respect for individual autonomy and equality under law.

Massachusetts later sued the federal government for attempting, through the Defense of Marriage Act DOMA , to enshrine in law the status quo ante. The suit claimed that in enacting DOMA Congress overstepped its authority, undermined states efforts to recognize marriages between same-sex couples, and codified an animus towards gay and lesbian people.

Not wishing to be implicated in that animus, the White House has declined to defend DOMA, the fate of which has yet to be decided. If DOMA fails, same-sex marriage will succeed in the courts of state after state, and with it the de jure normalization and denormalization of which we have spoken.

The Bonds of Marriage Alarmed about all of this, various champions have sprung to the defense of marriage, which they are now reduced in a concession I regard as a mistake to calling traditional or historic marriage. Over the past decade or so, they have tried to re-frame the debate by highlighting the abiding contributions of that institution, while avoiding as far as possible the appearance of animus against homosexuals. Those contributions are manifold, and a good deal of emphasis has rightly been placed on the positive social and economic outcomes that marriage continues to produce in contemporary society.

But at the center -- indispensable to the rest -- is the service marriage does to the bond between a child and its natural parents. Sex makes babies, and babies need a mother and a father, as Maggie Gallagher an indefatigable champion likes to say.

Marriage is designed to make it more likely that children will have and keep their parents. Same-sex marriage proponents, for their part, are forced to set aside this concern.

On their view, the parent-child bond lies beyond the immediate purview of marriage, as does the particular sexual act that produces children. Marriage is simply the formalization of an intimate relationship between adults. If those adults happen to produce or obtain children, well, that is another matter.

Moreover, their bond with those children does not require any particular family structure to support it; good outcomes can be had from diverse family structures. The debate about what constitutes a family, and about outcomes for children, is an increasingly lively one. The irony of this can hardly be missed. Marriage is about adult bonding, and adult bonding is all there is to marriage.

The champions of marriage respond that they are very much in favor of adult bonding, which the institution is indeed meant to serve.

That bonding, though good in itself, is for a purpose beyond itself, however. It is for a purpose of public as well as private interest, the purpose of procreation and child-rearing. It is not necessary, they point out, to hold that procreation constitutes the only good of marriage in order to recognize that procreation is an essential good of marriage. Nor, for that matter, is it necessary to hold that a childless marriage is not a marriage, at least where the childlessness is not deliberate -- a matter rightly shielded from public scrutiny.

But they insist that to exclude procreation as an essential or defining good makes nonsense of marriage. The third-century Roman jurist, Modestinus, captured the common understanding of marriage with the following definition: Marriage is the union of a man and a woman, a consortium for the whole of life involving the communication of divine and human rights. This union and these rights exist, not merely for their own sake, but also and especially for the sake of the inter-generational concerns of progeny and property; with a view, that is, to the conditions necessary for the founding and flourishing of the family.

The rights involved are divine as well as human because marriage is generative, and hence pre- as well as pro-political; because what is founded through marriage is, in the twentieth-century language of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the natural and fundamental group unit of society. The same elements that found expression in Modestinus perdured and prospered in the Augustinian understanding of marriage as an institution entailing, not one, but three interwoven goods: proles, fides, et sacramentum -- procreation or fruitfulness, loyalty or faithfulness, and bonding or sacred union.

That societies shaped by this understanding took the unusual step of making marriage monogamous testifies to the seriousness with which each of these goods was regarded, precisely in its service to the others. It was by developing them in their mutuality, moreover, that heterosexual monogamy to use the language of its detractors created the conditions for the new and deeper respect for women and for children that until recently has characterized the West.

But marriage for some time has been under feminist attack for its putative institutionalization, in the name of divine rights, of oppressive patriarchal tendencies. This attack coordinated, as it now is, with a Rawlsian assault on religious or comprehensive doctrines in the public sphere -- has helped create a very different set of conditions, the conditions necessary for the advent of same-sex marriage.

And same-sex marriage, by eliminating the first good proles , has begun to unravel the whole fabric of marriage, setting up something else in its place: an institution not intrinsically connected to the family, or at all events not connected to the natural family.

The divine and human rights belonging to marriage are thus beginning to disappear, as I want now to make clear. Parenthetically, we should observe that everyone really does mean everyone, though of course not everyone wills to marry or is able to do so.

It is ludicrous, then, to propose that same-sex marriage expands the pool of those who have a right to marry. It does no such thing, since everyone already has that right.