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Hendrik Hartog is Class of 1921 Bicentennial Professor in the History of American Law and Liberty at Princeton University and the author of MAN AND WIFE IN AMERICA: A HISTORY.
In the past few years, however, as issues relating to same-sex marriage have bubbled along — in Hawaii, Vermont, Canada, Massachusetts, San Francisco, and, of course, in the nation’s capital — I have come to realize how wrong I was to demarcate a sharp split between the compulsory heterosexual marital practices characteristic of the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries and the world of marital expectations and practices that define us in the early twenty-first century.