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Gay

Estates and Trusts

Nancy J. Knauer

2008

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Same-Sex Marriage And Federalism, Nancy J. Knauer Jan 2008

Same-Sex Marriage And Federalism, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

The increasing willingness of states to recognize same-sex relationships illustrates the central theme of this Symposium: federalism provides states the freedom to experiment with novel solutions to pressing social issues. The development of progressive policies seems to bear out Justice Brandeis' optimistic vision of federalism where "a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country." With respect to same-sex relationships, however, state level reform efforts have not been uniformly progressive. To the contrary, the vast majority of these efforts prohibit the …