Interview: E.J. Graff on “traditional” marriage

04/01/09 7:49AM By Mitch Wertlieb
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Lawmakers have taken another step to move Vermont closer to becoming the third state in the nation to allow same-sex couples to marry.

The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill Tuesday that would replace Vermont's first-in-the-nation civil unions law with full marriage for gay and lesbian couples.

The full House could take up the measure Thursday. But Governor Jim Douglas says if the bill reaches his desk, he'll reach for the veto pen.  

Like Douglas, critics of the bill cite protection of traditional marriage as one reason they want it rejected. But what exactly is traditional marriage?

E.J. Graff has been exploring that question for years. Graff is resident scholar at Brandeis University's Women's Studies Research Center, and is author of the book "What is Marriage For? The Strange Social History of Our Most Intimate Institution." 

Graff is very much in favor of same sex marriage, in part she says because of the contradictions she discovered in studying centuries of marriage history.

Click listen to hear the interview.

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