Discourse on Same Sex Marriage: A Response to Kitzinger and Wilkinson


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Stephanie K. Boys, Indiana University School of Social Work, 902 West New York Street, ES Building 4157, Indianapolis, IN 46202 [e-mail: sboys@indiana.edu].


Amicus briefs are powerful tools social scientists are currently using to voice concerns regarding the socially harmful and discriminatory impact of same sex marriage bans. A debate exists in the literature over how the discourse in these briefs should be framed. Should the focus be upon social justice or mental health? The author utilizes legal analysis to illustrate that neither frame is consistent with the discourse of legal precedent that judges will use to decide same sex marriage cases. Judges are trained from the time they are law students to ignore information that is not relevant to the legal framework established by precedent. The 2007 amicus brief submitted to the Supreme Court by various social scientist organizations will be used as an example of how discourses of social justice and mental health should both be included in an alternative discourse focused on evolving societal standards.