Defending Same-Sex Marriage
[3 volumes]
by Mark Strasser, Traci C. West, vol. ed., Martin Dupuis, William A. Thompson, vol. ed.
December 2006, 888pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
3 volumes, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-275-98772-5
$144, £111, 126€, A198
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eBook Available: 978-0-313-05421-1
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Places the struggle for marriage rights in the context of other American civil rights movements, advocating legal and religious recognition of same-sex marriage while educating the public about what gay marriage does and does not mean for the future of the institution of marriage.

Today we find ourselves at a crossroads of two powerful, unrelenting currents that are completely at odds with one another. The movement for legal recognition of same-sex unions has gone beyond the separate but equal status of civil unions to demand equality in marriage for all couples. Progress is being made on many fronts: mayoral action, clergy officiating at same-sex marriage and union ceremonies, state legislative responses, and street protests, to name a few. Meanwhile, opposition to same-sex marriage has also been gathering strength. The struggle is sure to continue unabated for some time to come, pitting those who believe in the traditional definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman—and who seek to codify this belief in the U.S. Constitution—against those who find the basis for marriage between two loving, committed individuals not only in the history of our civil rights legislation and court decisions, but also in scripture and sacred religious traditions. Those who believe in extending to same-sex couples the 1,049 rights conferred by marriage as well as the supportive embrace of religious communities seek to strengthen the institution of marriage by making it inclusive and by passing laws and broadening doctrines to uphold marriage rights for all couples. This three-volume set clarifies the legal, political, religious, cultural, and social ramifications of same-sex marriage for gay and lesbian couples and their families and friends, and for the general public interested in the future of civil rights in the United States.


Volume 1: Separate but Equal No More: A Guide to the Legal Status of Same-Sex Marriage, Civil Unions, and Other Partnerships, edited by Mark Strasser, who is also General Editor of the set, includes discussions of different kinds of legally recognized same-sex unions in the United States. Volume 2: Our Family Values: Same-Sex Marriage and Religion, edited by Traci C. West, contains an array of religious traditions, practices, and leaders that support same-sex marriage, and describes the struggles for its recognition within denominations, including analysis of racial dynamics. Volume 3: The Freedom-to-Marry Movement: Education, Advocacy, Culture, and the Media, edited by Martin Dupuis and William A. Thompson, explores the political movement to legalize and recognize same-sex marriage and unions, including the movement's education and advocacy efforts and its opposition.


"This work on same-sex marriage is about inequalities and injustices experienced by families. The essayists seem certain that same-sex marriage has become the alpha and omega of the gay and lesbian cause, humanizing both the issues and lesbian and gay people. And it is successful. Since the book's publication, New Hampshire has joined Massachusetts, Vermont, California, Hawai'i, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia in recognizing same-sex unions. Oregon follows in 2008. Highly recommended. All levels/libraries."—Choice, December 1, 2007

"As the title to this three-volume set makes clear, contributors share the belief of chief editor Strasser that individuals, the state, and society as a whole would benefit were marriage laws to made more inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersexual (LGBTI) people. Each volume addresses these benefits and related issues from different perspectives."—Reference & Research Book News, February 1, 2007
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