Hot Topic Program At AALS–E-Marriage: Emerging Trends Meet the Law

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From Adam Candeub:

Hot Topics Panel at the AALS
E-Marriage:  Emerging Trends Meet the Law

Mae Kuykendall          (MSU College of Law)                 Moderator
Adam Candeub          (MSU College of Law)                 Presentation of the E-Marriage Concept
Larry Ribstein            (Illinois College of Law)               Critical Analysis
Anita Bernstein          (Brooklyn Law College)                Commentary on Marriage Essentials
Monu Bedi                (Stetson School of Law)               The Military Context
Aviva Abramovsky     (Syracuse College of Law)            State Export of Other Legal Arrangements
June Carbone            (UMKC School of Law)                 Redefining Law and Geography

Background is available at the Legal E-Marriage website: It includes a working paper first posted on SSRN in October 2009, advocating full modernization of the historical precedent of proxy precedent through the use of modern communications technology, and forthcoming in the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform.

The panel explores the likelihood that technology, modern-day mobility, and patterns in affiliation will produce increasing numbers of marriage formalizations that do not strictly conform to a requirement of physical presence by all parties in the granting jurisdiction.  Technology likely will be increasingly seen as a natural means of accessing laws across jurisdictions and for deepening ceremonial moments by combining across distance the factors that the parties value.  For gay couples, the factors driving interest in distance marriage ceremonies are the embargo in many states on official marriage for them and their wish for the presence in their home city of friends and family for a formal, “real” ceremony.  For other couples, the factor could be a wish to have a marriage in their new home location, with a religious figure from their childhood presiding by remote connection.  For couples who are separated by distance, combined with military duties, illness, or limited means, the factor is the ability to marry when the time and need for their marriage has become apparent to them.  Other couples would like to do destination weddings to exotic locales, but still rely upon the marriage procedures and official recordation of their home state.  The likely trend, the history of marriages across borders and the existing scholarship on the importance of the state’s playing a facilitative role given its monopoly over marriage access, and the need for consistency, clarity, and predictability in state treatment of marriages that depart from the letter of the statutes will be examined and assessed against critique.

Among the issues the panel will explore are 1) the practical value to a couple of an official marriage ceremony in a state that will deny recognition to the marriage, 2) the potential for backlash in the instance of gay marriage, 3) the legal and long-term cultural acceptability of limiting relief from the physical presence requirement to couples either chosen by state statutory law (active duty military, prisoners, the moribund) or clerk discretion, 4) prudent forms that state legislation might take, 5) the incentives for states to pass legislation modernizing marriage procedure for a mobile society, and 6) the risks that states will withhold recognition to marriages on the basis of the procedure, despite being willing to recognize the substance, of a marriage authorized by another state.

Program: Hot Topic Program – E-Marriage: Emerging Trends Meet the Law
01/07/2011, 4:00 pm-5:45 P. M.

Place: Hilton (Room Not Yet Known; please note that the AALS organizers assigned the panel to this room).

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2 Responses to Hot Topic Program At AALS–E-Marriage: Emerging Trends Meet the Law

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Hot Topic Program At AALS–E-Marriage: Emerging Trends Meet the Law | Feminist Law Professors --

  2. Ann Bartow says:

    It looks like a great panel but I wonder how many attendees will cross a picket line to attend. I won’t do it, that is for sure.

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