Sherif Girgis, co-author of What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense (2012), is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton and his JD at Yale Law School. He majored in philosophy at Princeton, where he won several academic prizes, including for his senior thesis on sex ethics. Upon graduating Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude in 2008, he went on to earn a masters degree in moral, political and legal philosophy at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. His paper What Is Marriage?, coauthored with Robert George and Ryan Anderson, quickly became Social Science Research Networks most downloaded paper of its year. Their book on the same subject, which improves and expands on the article, was released in 2012. In addition to publishing in more popular contexts, he has given lectures and talks and engaged in debates on marriage and related topics throughout the U.S. and abroad.
More About Sherif Girgis
This Courts task is not to judge the desirability of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California Proposition 8s definition, but only to decide whether citizens and legislators may embody in law the belief in marriage as a conjugal union, as they have historically done.
There are decisive principled as well as prudential reasons for the state to enshrine [the traditional] understanding of marriage in its positive law, and to resist the call to recognize as marriages the sexual unions of same-sex partners.
Marriage laws use a criterion necessarily linked to an inherently good social purpose that we didnt just invent. This criterion isnt truly suspect and shouldnt get heightened scrutiny.
The equal-protection ruling against DOMA Lochnerizesas would equal-protection rulings against traditional state marriage lawseven if we embrace several scholars proposals for expanding equal protection jurisprudence.
What happened yesterday at the courthouse matters, and we must keep up our witness to the truth about marriage, by word and deed, until it is safely beyond judicial overreach.
The marriage debate is not about homosexuality, but about marriage. Upholding the truth about marriage doesnt deprive anyone of the joys of companionship, as many supporters of same-sex marriage suppose.
In a debate with Andrew Koppelman on same-sex marriage, Sherif Girgis argues that the issue was not about equality but rather what marriage is and the reasons states are involved in the question.