Marriage Equality: From Outlaws to In-Laws

William N. Eskridge Jr. and Christopher R. Riano. Yale Univ, $40 (968p) ISBN 978-0-300-22181-7
Law scholars Eskridge (Interpreting Law) and Riano document the legal, political, and religious arguments for and against same-sex marriage, as well as stories of gay couples who fought for their relationships to be legally recognized, in this comprehensive history of the battle for equal marriage rights in America. The authors begin with the origins of the gay rights movement, including the Mattachine Society’s “constitutional vision of homophile rights, grounded on the maxim ‘Gay is Good,’ ” and the 1969 Stonewall riots. They scrutinize milestone legal cases and legislation, including the Supreme Court’s first same-sex marriage case in 1972, the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, and the overturning of California’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in 2010. Intersections between the gay rights, women’s liberation, and civil rights movements are highlighted, as are the impact of the AIDS crisis on perceptions of the gay community. The sheer volume of information (including a six-page glossary of terms and acronyms) staggers, and lay readers may find play-by-play descriptions of legal battles a bit of a grind. Still, Eskridge and Riano lighten the proceedings with a playful sense of humor and portraits of the people behind the lawsuits. LGBTQ allies and legal students will be rewarded by the impressive survey of how far the gay rights movement has come. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/02/2020
Release date: 08/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
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