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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

(p.91) CHAPTER 4 The Supportive State and (“Horizontal”) Relationships Among Adults
The Supportive State

Maxine Eichner (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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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