Arkansas and the War Between the States: Civil Unions and Same Sex Marriage
By Chauncey Brummer · October 8, 2009 · 2009 Ark. L. Notes
In categories: Family Law
One hundred and ﬁfty years ago this country was embroiled in a bitter debate over whether the institution of slavery was compatible with democratic principles that recognized the inalienable right of people to be free. This debate led to the most brutal war in the nation’s history and challenged the very survival of a union of states that had very different cultural and moral views on the subject. The scars of that conﬂagration remain today, but the legal and moral justiﬁcation for slavery is no longer part of rational discourse. The idea that a large minority of the country’s population should be denied fundamental rights cherished by the majority has been repudiated by legislation, court cases, and the Constitution itself. Despite the unequivocal rejection of slavery and institutional segregation, there remains a signiﬁcant chasm between those who favor government intervention to ensure social or moral equality and those who would relegate the matter to individual conscience.