Calling a Truce in the Marriage Wars

The definition and attributes of marriage are contested by social conservatives and liberals. Social conservatives consider permanency an important attribute of marriage and want to give couples the option to limit the ability to obtain a divorce. On the other hand, many social liberals want to expand the traditional legal definition of marriage to include homosexual unions. Professors Buckley and Ribstein believe that both of these groups can achieve part of their goals through a compromise based on jurisdictional choice and enforcement of contract. They propose that states enforce the contractual aspects of sister states\' marriage law. As Professors Buckley and Ribstein show, this approach benefits society by accommodating competing views, widening the acceptance of various rules within each jurisdiction, and per-mitting states to offer a variety of marriage rules.*Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law**Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law

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