Marriage Equality and Family Diversity: Comparative Perspectives from the United States and South Africa
By Holning Lau
This Article proceeds in two parts. Part I examines the United States’s and South Africa’s competing approaches to same-sex marriage. Both countries’ highest courts ruled that excluding same-sex couples from marriage is unconstitutional, but they took divergent paths to reach that conclusion. This Article contends that the Constitutional Court of South Africa paved a better road for other countries to follow because it developed a superior conceptualization of the right to marry. Part II looks beyond same-sex marriage to explore new frontiers for reforming laws to address family diversity both in the United States and in South Africa. Specifically, Part II examines proposals to extend rights and responsibilities to couples who choose not to marry.