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Volume20
Year2012
TitleOrr v. Orr
Author(s)Travis Grant
First Page57
AbstractIf husbands as well as wives are entitled to equal protection under the laws, should they not also be able to obtain alimony at the conclusion of a divorce? Of course. But wives-only alimony statutes were not held to violate equal protection until 1979, toward the end of a decade-long assault by the United States Supreme Court on gender stereotypes. Orr v. Orr deserves examination in the environment in which it was decided. The author concludes that the decision has as much?if not more?to do with the emancipation of women as it does with men. Orr was a people?s rights case, in that it proclaimed that men, women, and families would not be pigeonholed by law into the places prepared for them by so-called ?traditional society.? Indeed, once the Court announced it would no longer recognize promotion of ?the traditional family? as a legitimate governmental interest, the door opened to expansion of the law?s meaning of ?family? in the United States.