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Philosophische Zeitschrift der Kant-Gesellschaft

Ed. by Baum, Manfred / Dörflinger, Bernd / Klemme, Heiner F.

CiteScore 2017: 0.31

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.262
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.596

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Volume 101, Issue 3


Kant on Sex and Marriage: The Implications for the Same-Sex Marriage Debate

Matthew C. Altman
Published Online: 2011-01-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/kant.2010.020


When examined critically, Kant's views on sex and marriage give us the tools to defend same-sex marriage on moral grounds. The sexual objectification of one's partner can only be overcome when two people take responsibility for one another's overall well-being, and this commitment is enforced through legal coercion. Kant's views on the unnaturalness of homosexuality do not stand up to scrutiny, and he cannot (as he often tries to) restrict the purpose of sex to procreation. Kant himself rules out marriage only when the partners cannot give themselves to one another equally – that is, if there is inequality of exchange. Because same-sex marriage would be between equals and would allow homosexuals to express their desire in a morally appropriate way, it ought to be legalized.

Keywords:: Sex; Marriage; Homosexuality; Liberalism (political liberalism); Procreation

About the article

Published Online: 2011-01-24

Published in Print: 2010-10-01

Citation Information: Kant-Studien, Volume 101, Issue 3, Pages 309–330, ISSN (Online) 1613-1134, ISSN (Print) 0022-8877, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/kant.2010.020.

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