While Ralph Wedgwood has recently argued that state recognition of marriage can be justified in a way consistent with the demands of political liberalism, Clare Chambers argues that such a policy violates the politically liberal state’s requirement of neutrality with respect to diverse reasonable conceptions of the good—and she thinks Wedgwood’s case to the contrary relies on a “lax” reading of the neutrality requirement, not the “strict” reading that preserves political liberalism’s distinctiveness. I argue that there is a way of reading Wedgwood that sees his defense of state-recognized marriage as attempting to meet the requirements of strict neutrality—a reading that sees state recognition of marriage as a “neutral facilitating policy,” that is, a policy that helps marriage-affirming reasonable doctrines overcome a disadvantage they would face (relative to other reasonable doctrines) absent policy intervention by the state. I conclude, however, that a state policy that refuses to recognize polyamorous marriages may not qualify as a neutral facilitating policy, and hence that Wedgwood’s argument may fail to support the policy regime he favors but might support a more permissive marital policy.

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