The marital relation constitutes the basic foundation of American society. Marriage blends intimacy and publicity. It shapes the manner in which individuals perceive themselves and the way in which they are viewed by others. Because marriage is strictly regulated by the state, it carries an inherent tension between the relational autonomy of the individual and the state interest in sanctioning relationships. This tension is illustrated in the current national debate on the legitimacy of same-sex marriages.
Farabee, Lisa M.
"Marriage, Equal Protection, and New Judicial Federalism: A View from the States,"
Yale Law & Policy Review: Vol. 14
, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/ylpr/vol14/iss1/6