Entries by William C. Duncan

The research so far: Mom + Dad still best for kids

In past decades, a large body of research has developed focused on the question of what family structures are most likely to promote child well-being. The basic consensus — based on comparisons of children raised by married biological parents, single parents, divorced parents, stepparents, etc. — is that children fare best, on average, when raised […]

A right to discriminate?

A common accusation made by those who oppose robust protections for religious liberty is that proponents are seeking a “right to discriminate.” The common form this argument takes is that religious liberty is already protected (say, by the First Amendment to the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting […]

How marriage law has shifted in 35 years

In many family law textbooks, two cases from the 1970s are juxtaposed. The first is a 1976 California decision, Marvin v. Marvin, in which the California Supreme Court considered a claim by a woman who had cohabited with a celebrity (during part of the time of their cohabitation he was married to another woman) that […]

How complex regulations give big corporations the upper hand – Sutherland Soapbox, 1/20/15

This post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations. The podcast can be found at the bottom of this post. Recently I came across a complaint about corporate involvement in politics. The complaint initially rankled, probably because a corporation is really just an organized body of individuals, […]

Regrettable words and the ethics of tale-bearing

Recently, the news reported some comments from a well-known, and by all accounts, generous and philanthropic individual in the state, of an unfortunate and ad hominem nature about a prominent politician. Such comments are, of course, always regrettable. What could explain them? We have to admit that we don’t know. It could be a regrettable […]

Arranged marriage

Today, the law of Utah says that marriage is an association of a man and a woman, or a man and another man, or a woman and another woman. Not, however, because a massive cultural change in the state led a majority of Utahns to decide that marriage should be a way for the government […]