More Than 50 Distinguished Scholars Issue Landmark Principles on the Importance of Marriage and the

The Witherspoon InstitutePRINCETON, N.J., June 7, 2006 ( - Marriage as the union of a man and a woman is profoundly in the public interest and should be reaffirmed, not redefined, says a landmark scholarly document published today.

Signed by more than fifty distinguished scholars nationwide, Marriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles, published by the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, NJ, makes a deeply intellectual case for marriage as the foundational institution of society. Although respecting the role of religion in most marriages, the scholars make the case for traditional marriage on the basis of sociological evidence of its social value.

“As scholars,” reads the Executive Summary of the Principles,“we are persuaded that the case for marriage can be made and won at the level of reason. Marriage protects children, men and women, and the common good. The health of marriage is particularly important in a free society, which depends upon citizens to govern their private lives and rear their children responsibly, so as to limit the scope, size, and power of the state.”

The document signatories include James Q. Wilson of Pepperdine University, Paul McHugh of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Robert P. George of Princeton University, Amy Wax of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, Hadley Arkes of Amherst College, Mary Ann Glendon of Harvard Law School, Leon R. Kass and Jean Bethke Elshtain of the University of Chicago, Jeremy Rabkin of Cornell University, and Daniel N. Robinson of Oxford University.

“These principles are the result of scholarly discussions that began with a meeting at the Witherspoon Institute in 2004,” said James Stoner, chair of the drafting committee, and Professor of Political Science at Louisiana State University. “These discussions brought together leading scholars from history, economics, political science, law, psychology, sociology and philosophy. Marriage and the Public Good represents the consensus of these scholars on the indispensable importance of marriage.”

Stoner noted that Professor Robert George Monday presented a copy of Marriage and the Public Good to President Bush during a meeting at the White House. President Bush remarked on the importance of having distinguished scholars widely respected in their disciplines speaking out strongly in defense of marriage. The document is already making its mark felt, as Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas cited the principles during the Senate debate on the Marriage Protection Amendment.

The Witherspoon Institute is an educational organization that works to enhance public understanding of the political and moral principles inherent in free and democratic societies.

Read Marriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles at:

Share this article