xv Preface to the First Edition Same-sex marriage? What an absurd idea! Marriage has always been between one man and one woman. How can anyone imagine any kind of legal union called “marriage” between two women or two men? Well, perhaps so. But also, perhaps not. Anyone who has studied American history knows that it is not quite true that “marriage has always been between one man and one woman.” In fact, one of the largest religious denominations in the United States, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon church) not only endorsed, but also encouraged polygamous marriages of its members for more than half a cen- tury. Church leaders made it a requirement of their faith that men take multiple wives in order for both men and women to ensure their entry into heaven after their deaths. Reflecting the importance of such marriages, the church referred to them as “celestial marriage.” And a careful study of human civilization shows that many other types of marriages are possible and, often, have been the norm among various societies. In some cultures, a one-man, one-woman marriage is often augmented by the addition of additional wives or husbands who may or may not live with the primary family all or part of the time. And same-sex marriages, while certainly not common in most societies, have existed in many cultures. So perhaps the idea of same-sex marriage in the twenty-first century is not such a revolutionary idea as it first seems. Per- haps the question really is whether the United States and other
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