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Delimiting The Culture Defense, James M. Donovan, John Stuart Garth Jan 2007

Delimiting The Culture Defense, James M. Donovan, John Stuart Garth

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

This essay builds upon the arguments of Alison Dundes Renteln in her influential book, The Cultural Defense (2004), in which she argues persuasively for a uniformly recognized culture defense in certain litigations. Critiquing some of her details, we recast her three-prong culture defense test to more effectively balance the competing interests of minority culture members to have their ways of life taken seriously by the courts, and of members of the dominant tradition who wish to preserve the rule of law with its necessary perception as treating all parties equally. The offered formulation now includes the following five elements:

1 ...


Rock-Salting The Slippery Slope: Why Same-Sex Marriage Is Not A Commitment To Polygamous Marriage, James M. Donovan Aug 2002

Rock-Salting The Slippery Slope: Why Same-Sex Marriage Is Not A Commitment To Polygamous Marriage, James M. Donovan

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

E.J. Graff has documented how any change in the marriage rules inevitably leads to predications of apocalyptic cries warning of "death of marriage and civilization itself." The conservative fit over the possibility of the social acceptance of same-sex marriage therefore has an ancient if repetitive script. Still, the "threat" of same-sex marriage poses for conservatives at least one atypical wrinkle. Unlike discussions of equal or even greater rancor, that raging over same-sex marriage forces its opponents to treat with special delicacy. In the case of abortion, opponents are able to argue in absolute terms: abortion is wrong, period, even ...


An Ethical Argument To Restrict Domestic Partnerships To Same-Sex Couples, James M. Donovan Aug 1998

An Ethical Argument To Restrict Domestic Partnerships To Same-Sex Couples, James M. Donovan

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

For purposes of this Essay, the preservation of marriage in its present superior status, albeit not necessarily in its present form, constitutes a good. Further, it is a very high good within the hierarchy of values. Within the arena of domestic relations, in fact, there is no higher good. Marriage is the ground from which all other relations in an ordered society spring.

Extremists aside, gays and lesbians desire the right to marry because we value the institution, and we will herein take this state of affairs to be "good." That cannot be overstated. We like marriage, we appreciate what ...


Doma: An Unconstitutional Establishment Of Fundamentalist Christianity, James M. Donovan Aug 1997

Doma: An Unconstitutional Establishment Of Fundamentalist Christianity, James M. Donovan

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

This Article scrutinizes the constitutionality of the intent of the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA]. According to the text of the Act, DOMA's purposes are "to define and protect the institution of marriage," where marriage is defined to exclude same-sex partners. To be constitutionally valid under the Establishment Clause, this notion that heterosexual marriage requires "protection" from gay and lesbian persons must spring from a secular and not religious source. This Article posits that DOMA has crossed this forbidden line between the secular and the religious. DOMA, motivated and supported by fundamentalist Christian ideology, and lacking any genuine secular ...