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Politics of Parenting: Love’s Promises – How Formal and Informal Contracts Shape All Kinds of Families

GUEST: Martha M. Ertman, Law Professor at the University of Maryland’s Carey Law School and editor of Rethinking Commodification: Cases and Readings in Law and Culture. Her new book is called Love’s Promises: How Formal and Informal Contracts Shape All Kinds of Families.

*This program was originally broadcast on October 6, 2015.

The Supreme Court’s decision last year to legalize gay marriage should have been the last word on the subject. But many parts of the US are still holding out. Among them is the state of Tennessee where gay marriage opponents seem to be taking a scorched earth policy on same-sex marriage. A new lawsuit takes issue with how all marriage licenses are now issued. The suit was filed by a former state senator David Fowler, who told press, “How does anyone, regardless of the sexes of the parties, get a valid marriage license pursuant to an invalid law?”

But marriage contracts impact not just couples but whole families. My guest Martha Ertman writes about non-traditional couples and how we think of families. In her book, Love’s Promise: How Formal and Informal Contracts Shape all Kinds of Families, Ertman navigates how family and contractual law can be used to define the most beneficial ways for parents and children to be configured in legal and marital terms. As part of our series on the Politics of Parenting, she now joins me on the program.

Martha Ertman explains the book in this 3-minute VIDEO.