San Diego Law Review


Amy L. Wax

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



Thus far, there has been no coherent, secular elucidation of the opposition to same-sex marriage. This article attempts to develop a consistent position by applying the traditionalist and rationalist views of Edmund Burke and Michael Oakeshott to the same-sex marriage debate, while questioning whether traditional marriage should be changed to include same-sex unions. Burke and Oakeshott represent the conservative approach that advocates an adherence to tradition in the face of change. Through developing this conservative approach, this article seeks a heuristic, in the form of legislative change reflecting a majority view, for when society should accept change. Although an answer to the marriage debate remains obscure, the author concludes that the conservative emphasis on experience and tradition risk threatening and destroying the institution of marriage that they are trying to save.

Included in

Law Commons