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The Supportive StateFamilies, Government, and America's Political Ideals$
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Maxine Eichner

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195343212

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195343212.001.0001

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The Supportive State and (“Horizontal”) Relationships Among Adults

The Supportive State and (“Horizontal”) Relationships Among Adults

Chapter:
(p.91) CHAPTER 4 The Supportive State and (“Horizontal”) Relationships Among Adults
Source:
The Supportive State
Author(s):

Maxine Eichner (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195343212.003.0005

This chapter considers the stance that the state should adopt with respect to relationships among adults or “horizontal” relationships. In contrast to most caretaker-dependent relationships discussed in the previous chapter, adults in a liberal polity can generally order their own affairs. Should the state therefore distance itself from these relationships? It is on this issue that current debates over same-sex marriage call for the state to disestablish civil marriage. In addition, it is on this issue that state support for two-parent families hinge. The chapter also demonstrates that the supportive state model helps to strike an acceptable balance among the important goods and principles at stake.

Keywords:   marriage, civil union, gays, homosexuality, families, liberalism, dependency, feminism, disestablish

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