Recently, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy (Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 245-287, Winter 2010) published a very significant essay, "What is Marriage?", co-authored by Robert George (Princeton University), Sherif Girgis (Princeton University), and Ryan T. Anderson (University of Notre Dame). The abstract for the article desribes it as follows:
In the article, we argue that as a moral reality, marriage is the union of a man and a woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other of the type that is naturally fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together, and renewed by acts that constitute the behavioral part of the process of reproduction. We further argue that there are decisive principled as well as prudential reasons for the state to enshrine this understanding of marriage in its positive law, and to resist the call to recognize as marriages the sexual unions of same-sex partners.
Besides making this positive argument for our position and raising several objections to the view that same-sex unions should be recognized, we address what we consider the strongest philosophical objections to our view of the nature of marriage, as well as more pragmatic concerns about the point or consequences of implementing it as a policy.
The essay has elicted several responses from proponents of "gay marriage", including Kenji Yoshino of NYU Law School and Northwestern Law professor Andy Koppelman. Here are links to the responses given by George, Anderson, and Girgis (their responses contains links to the articles by Yoshino, et al):
“What is Marriage?” original article in HJLPP
The Argument Against Gay Marriage: And Why it Doesn’t Fail first response to Yoshino
Marriage: Merely a Social Construct? Response to Northwestern Law Prof Andy Koppelman
Marriage: Real Bodily Union Response to Family Scholars blogger Barry Deutsch
Marriage: No Avoiding the Central Question Response to second Yoshino