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Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Law: Volume 2$
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Leslie Green and Brian Leiter

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199679829

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199679829.001.0001

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Legal Sex *

Legal Sex *

(p.277) 9 Legal Sex*
Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Law: Volume 2

Luís Duarte D’almeida

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the meaning of the terms ‘man’ and ‘woman’ as they figure in the kind of provisions by which, in different systems, ‘same-sex’ marriage is proscribed. It is occupied with a matter of legal interpretation and no particular allusion is made to the materials of any given legal system. The discussion is instead held at a higher level of generality, so as to range over any jurisdiction whose laws on marriage include provisions stipulating that: no woman may marry another woman; a woman may only marry a man; no man may marry another man; a man may only marry a woman; and which accordingly determine; that a couple is allowed to marry only if it is a couple of a woman and a man. In any particular case the application of these provisions requires that we be able to ascertain a person's membership of one of the two classes — that we have a criterion by which to determine when an individual counts as a woman or a man. The chapter addresses this question.

Keywords:   marriage, same-sex marriage, man, woman, legal systems

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