At stake

masterding

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Quote from a Harvard open course:
This was in the Goodwrich case, which required the state of Massachusetts to extend marriage to same sex couples. The court started out, well the court was conflicted, if you read that opinion carefully, the court was conflicted as between the two positions we’ve just been hearing, defended by Andrea and by Dan. The court begins, and this is Chief Justice Margaret Marshall’s opinion, it begins with an attempt at liberal neutrality. "Many people hold deep-seated religious, moral and ethical convictions that marriage should be limited to the union of one man and one woman and that homosexual conduct is immoral. Many hold equally strong religious, moral and ethical convictions that same sex couples are entitled to be married, that homosexual persons should be treated no differently than their heterosexual neighbors", this is the court, "neither view answers the question before us. What is at stake is quote respect for individual autonomy and equality under law. At stake is an individual freely choosing the person with whom to share an exclusive commitment".
Does 'at stake' mean 'at risk' here? It seems to me that it kind of means 'at issue'. Can 'at risk' be used in this way?
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Skrej

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Yes, in this context 'at stake', 'at risk', and 'at issue' are all synonymous.
 

masterding

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Yes, in this context 'at stake', 'at risk', and 'at issue' are all synonymous.

I think 'at issue' means 'being discussed or considered', whereas 'at risk' means 'in a position to be lost or gained'. How are they synonymous?
 
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Matthew Wai

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I think in this context what is at issue is what is at stake, but I am not a teacher.
 

masterding

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I think in this context what is at issue is what is at stake, but I am not a teacher.

Can I understand in this way?
Respect for individual autonomy and equality under law will be at stake should the same sex marriage not be allowed.
 
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Tdol

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Matthew Wai

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Respect for individual autonomy and equality under law will be at stake, should the same sex marriage not be allowed?
I consider it a comma splice, but I am not a teacher.
 

MikeNewYork

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It is a comma splice.
 

Tdol

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I consider it a comma splice, but I am not a teacher.

It is, but the question was about understanding, so I let it pass. Also, in BrE, many people get less worked up about comma splices than in AmE.
 

Raymott

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It's only a comma splice in the original sentence (with the question mark), in my opinion.
1. "Respect for individual autonomy and equality under law will be at stake, should [STRIKE]the[/STRIKE] same sex marriage not be allowed?" is not right.
"Respect for individual autonomy and equality under law will be at stake. Should [STRIKE]the[/STRIKE] same sex marriage not be allowed?" Correct.

2. "Respect for individual autonomy and equality under law will be at stake, should same sex marriage not be allowed" (meaning "if same sex marriage is not allowed") is correct, but the comma is optional (I wouldn't use it, but it's not a splice), and there's no question mark.

Transposing the clauses, "If same sex marriage is not allowed, r
espect for individual autonomy and equality under law will be at stake." and "Should same sex marriage not be allowed, respect for individual autonomy and equality under law will be at stake" both require a comma.

 

Tdol

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Without the question mark, I would not use the comma.
 
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