Same-Sex Marriage
Exploring the Issues
by Scott A. Merriman
January 2022, 161pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7523-6
$44, £34, 39€, A61
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7524-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The United States is often viewed as the land of equality and liberty. However, until 2015 a sizable percentage of Americans were not allowed to exercise one of their fundamental liberties: the right to marry whomever they wanted.

A valuable survey of a cutting-edge issue, this book outlines the history of same-sex marriage, explaining how politics and religion have intersected to decide and control who can legally marry.

Marriage equality became law in the United States in 2015 with the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. Marriage is, strictly speaking, a secular ceremony, requiring only civil sanction. However, many couples also seek the blessing of a religious body upon their union, and not all religious bodies support marriage equality. Some oppose it outright and some support it outright, while others are divided.

This work examines the issue of same-sex marriage in the U.S. and internationally. It surveys the attitudes of major religions towards same-sex marriage and also looks at leading and sometimes polarizing personalities, like politician Pete Buttigieg and Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who exemplify both the religious and political sides of the issue. The book’s A–Z organization makes it easy for readers to locate important court cases, individuals, religious bodies, and social movements at the center of the same-sex marriage debate.


  • Provides a comprehensive background of same sex-marriage in the United States by looking at its history, which shows how the topic has developed over the past half-century
  • Surveys the current treatment of same-sex marriage by major religions, illustrating the diversity of views towards same-sex marriage among religions today
  • Looks at modern court cases up to and through Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, providing a outline of what the law currently says about same-sex marriage and religion
  • Includes a comprehensive, annotated bibliography of resources
Scott A. Merriman is a lecturer in history at Troy University. He has authored more than a dozen books, including When Religious and Secular Interests Collide: Faith, Law, and the Religious Exemption Debate.

Religion in Politics and Society Today

Religion has long played an influential role in shaping our world. Each book in this series examines how religion informs a particularly critical social or political concern, such as antisemitism, education, environmental issues, Islam in America, and war. Through an overview essay, chronology, and roughly 50 alphabetically arranged reference entries, the volumes provide concise, objective coverage of the essential elements of the topic discussed. An annotated bibliography closes each book and directs the reader to some of the most important sources of additional information.
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