Jon W. Davidson


I was delighted to be asked to return to Yale to give the keynote address at this Symposium, and particularly to do so at its close. Being in this position gives me the opportunity to sum up, to draw together, and even to borrow liberally from, the other speakers' comments. It avoids the typical keynote problem of having one's remarks thereafter be the target of all the other speakers' critiques. And, of course, most importantly, it lets me have the last word. The only problem is that, given Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh's promise at the Symposium's outset that my talk would resolve all the inquiries he posed about the current struggle for marriage equality, I once again have been made to feel like the youngest child at Passover, but with five challenging questions instead of four to answer. Thankfully, the speakers before me have been an inspiration. Their ideas have been provocative and their words spectacularly stimulating. The speakers all have made me want to hear more and think further about their comments. I want to start my remarks with a few initial observations, prompted by the other speakers' presentations. Initially, I think it is important to highlight the transformative nature of the discussions had at this Symposium, and that our nation itself recently has been having, regarding relationships formed by samesex couples, as contrasted with some of the earlier battles of the lesbian and gay rights movement.

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