Until today, no society had seen marriage as anything other than a conjugal partnership: a male-female union. What Is Marriage? identifies and defends the reasons for this historic consensus and shows why redefining civil marriage is unnecessary, unreasonable, and contrary to the common good.
This book's core argument has already been cited and debated by scholars and activists throughout the world as the most formidable defense of the tradition ever written. It stands poised to meet its moment as few books of this generation have. Rhodes Scholar Sherif Girgis, Heritage Foundation Fellow Ryan Anderson, and Princeton Professor Robert George offer a devastating critique of the idea that equality requires redefining marriage. They show why both sides must first answer the question of what marriage really is. They defend the principle that marriage, as a comprehensive union of mind and body ordered to family life, unites a man and a woman as husband and wife, and they document the social value of applying this principle in law. Most compellingly, they show that those who embrace same-sex civil marriage leave no firm ground-none-for not recognizing every relationship describable in polite English, including polyamorous sexual unions, and that enshrining their view would further erode the norms of marriage, and hence the common good.