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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 13, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 33
Same-Sex Marriage Debate Has Roots Going Back Centuries
Section One
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Same-Sex Marriage Debate Has Roots Going Back Centuries

Stephanie Pappas
LiveScience Senior Writer

In the late 1700s, something disturbing happened to marriage in Western societies: It began to change. Young people had revolutionary new ideas about the institution and what it meant to them.

'People were terrified,' said Stephanie Coontz, a historian at The Evergreen State College in Washington and author of "Marriage, A History" (Viking Adult, 2005). "Social conservatives of the day said, 'Oh my gosh, you're going to have the wrong people getting married.'"

The radical idea that had everyone so worried? The notion that people should marry for love, rather than for individual power, group survival, or any of a host of other historic reasons to bond.

Marriage survived, and so did society. But the fight over marriage continues, most recently with the judicial decision in California that ruled Proposition 8, a state ban on gay marriage, unconstitutional. On Thursday, Federal Judge Vaughn Walker lifted the stay on his earlier ruling, clearing the way for same-sex marriages in California to go forward beginning Aug. 18, pending a reversal by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20100815/sc_livescience/ samesexmarriagedebatehasrootsgoingbackcenturies

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