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Media Resources
Legal Marriage
© February 23, 2013, Demian

Out-of-print books may be found at used book stores or libraries. Availability and costs change often, so it’s best to contact distributors before ordering.

Law Review Articles
Further Resources

—— Books ——

The Case for Same-Sex Marriage: From sexual liberty to civilized commitment
by William Eskridge, Jr. (1996), $25, Free Press, Simon & Schuster, New York, NY. A well-organized resource.
Law professor Eskridge cites historical, cultural and civic reasons to support legal marriage. Especially strong on objection handling. Chapters: Civilizing Gays, Civilizing Straights; A History of Same-Sex Marriage; The Debate Within the Lesbian and Gay Community; Mainstream Objections to Same-Sex Marriage; The Constitutional Case: The Right to Marry; The Constitutional Case: Discrimination; Epilogue: Fear of Flaunting. Notes, index, references, list of relevant court cases.

The Challenge of Same-Sex Marriage: Federalist principles and constitutional protections
by Mark Strasser (1999), $59 hardcover, 248 pages, Praeger, Westport, Connecticut.
Appropriate for lawyers, theorists, advanced advocates. Chapters are: Marriage Rights; Equal Protection; The Referenda; Retroactive Legislation; Full Faith and Credit; Subsequent Domiciles and Full Faith and Credit; Natural Law and Same-Sex Marriage; The Defense of Marriage Act. Notes, index, bibliography.

Civil Marriage for Lesbians & Gay Men: Organizing in communities of faith
by Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund (1996), free, Lambda Legal, New York, NY; 212-809-8585 x228; fax 212-809-0055;
An excellent 89-page book.

Civil Wars: A Battle for Gay Marriage
by David Moats (2004), $18 hardcover/paperback, 280 pages, Harcourt Press.
A remarkable drama of democracy at work. When Vermont became the first state to grant gay and lesbian couples the right to have a Civil Union in 2000. But it was not an easy victory; the ruling sparked the fiercest political conflict in the state’s memory. David Moats was in the thick of it, writing a series of balanced, humane editorials that earned a Pulitzer Prize. Here he tells the intimate stories behind the battle and introduces us to all the key actors in the struggle, including the couples who first filed suit; the lawyers who spent years championing the case; and the only openly gay legislator in Vermont, who ensured victory with an impassioned, deeply personal speech on the House floor at a crucial moment.
Note: Vermont now offers full, legal marriage: Vermont Offers Legal Marriage

Gay Marriage: Why It is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America
by Jonathan Rauch (2004) $16 hardcover, 207 pages, Times Books; $12 paperback, 224 pages, Owl Books.
A clear, honest manifesto explaining why same-sex marriage is crucial to the health of marriage in America. Rauch grounds his argument in common sense, mainstream values, confronting socially conservative arguments.

Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Partnerships: A Study of National, European and International Law
edited by Robert Wintermute and Mads Anderson (2001), Hart Publishing, Portland, Oregon, and Hart Publishing Ltd., Salter’s Boatyard, Oxford, U.K.
An outstanding compendium, from a global perspective, of 42 scholarly articles, including America’s Arthur Leonard, Nancy Polikoff, Evan Wolfson, and Mary Bonauto. Based on a conference of 135 participants from around the world that was held at the School of Law, University of London in 1999.

Legally Wed: Same-sex marriage and the Constitution
by Mark Strasser (1997), $25 hardcover, 241 pages, Cornell U. Press, Sage House, Ithaca, NY.
A thorough look at U.S. Constitutional issues raised by same-sex marriage. Chapters: Marriage Barred by Definition; Equal Protection; The Fundamental Interest in Marriage; The Custody and Adoption of Children; Full Faith and Credit; The defense of Marriage Act. Appropriate for lawyers, researchers, theorists, advanced advocates. Notes, index, bibliography.

Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage
by Stephanie Coontz (2005), $25.95 hardcover, 448 pages, Viking Press (Penguin Books).
Family historian Coontz explodes all assumption about marriage, revealing that throughout history, marriage was not based on mutual love between a breadwinner husband and an at-home wife. Rather, it was an institution devoted to acquiring in-laws, and improving the family labor force. Coontz posits that the Victorians, with their radical emphasis on marital intimacy, and celebration of the individual, simultaneously made marriage more satisfying, and paved the way for the thriving of divorce, same-sex marriage, cohabitation and single parenting.

A More Perfect Union: Why straight America must stand up for gay rights
by Richard D. Mohr (1994), $15, 125 pages, Beacon Press, Boston, Massachusetts.
Mohr is a professor of philosophy at the U. of Illinois at Urbana. Not focused on marriage, but contains several highly original chapters that link freedom to marry to concepts of privacy and autonomy.

On Same-Sex Marriage, Civil Unions, and the Rule of Law: Constitutional Interpretation at the Crossroads
by Mark Strasser (2002) $45 hardcover, 194 pages, Praeger Press.
Contains extensive information on Vermont’s Civil Unions, benefits and equality, parental status, the right to travel, marriage, religion, and threats to the right to privacy.
Note: Vermont now offers full, legal marriage: Vermont Offers Legal Marriage

On the Road to Same-Sex Marriage: A support guide to psychological, political and legal issues
edited by Robert P. Cabaj and David W. Purcell (1997), Josey-Bass, San Francisco, California.
A creative overview that touches on issues not often found together in one work. Chapters: History of Gay Acceptance and Relationships; Current Trends in Same-Sex Marriage; Lesbian Couples Creating Families; Gay Male Couples and Families; Mental Health Issues and Same-Sex Marriage; Comparing Mixed-Race and Same-Sex Marriage; Legal Trials and Tribulations on the Road to Same-Sex Marriage; Ceremonies and Religion in Same-Sex Marriage; International Trends in Same-Sex Marriage. Short bibliography, resources.

Same-Sex Marriage: A Christian ethical analysis
by Marvin M. Ellison (2004), $24/Can$39, 198 pages hardcover, Pilgrim Press, Cleveland, Ohio.
A thorough investigation of marriage, via historical and cross-cultural forms, and highlighting contemporary western forms within a context of ethics and justice.

Same-Sex Marriage: The personal and the political
by Kathleen A. Lahey and Kevin Alderson (2004), $17/Can$22, Insomniac Press, 192 Spadina Ave., Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Part I: An historical overview of legal marriage for same-sex couples in Europe, Canada, and the U.S. Part II: Interviews of 16 couples, along with a photo of each couple by Kevin Midbo.

Same-Sex Marriage: Pro and Con: A reader
edited by Andrew Sullivan (1997), $14, Vintage Books.
A useful introduction to the issue of same-sex marriage through the words of advocates and opponents. Excellent for class use and debates.

Same-Sex Marriage in the United States: Focus on the facts
by Sean Cahill, PhD (2004), $?, 159 pages paperback, Lexington Books, Lanham, Maryland.
Through data gathering and straight-forward reporting, this book investigates the recent history and politics surounding the anti-gay businesses, and the struggle for equal treatment.

Straightforward: How to Mobilize Heterosexual Support for Gay Rights
by Ian Ayres and Jennifer Gerarda Brown (2005) $24.95, Princeton University Press.
Discusses ways in which non-gay people can take a stand on such issues as same-sex marriage and employee discrimination based on sexual orientation.

What God has Joined Together? A Christian Case for Gay Marriage
by David G. Meyers and Letha Dawson Scanzoni (2005), $18, Harper San Francisco, California.
A study gide for discussion groups. Loaded with facts, figures and footnotes. Generally considers the anti-gay, anti-marriage arguments to be ill-conceived — and clearly spells out rationale for religious support of same-sex marriage.

What is Marriage for? The strange social history of our most intimate institution
by E. J. Graff (1999), $25, Boston, Massachusetts.
A highly readable and original look at the history of civil marriage, and its link to cultural norms and economic realities. Chapters: Money, Sex, Babies, Kin, Order, Heart. Very useful for the general reader, debaters, feminists, lesbian and gay couples. Non-gay people may find the book appropriate to their inquiry about the meaning of civil marriage. A successful mix of accessible writing and academic rigor. Strong on objection handling. Notes, bibliography, index.

Why Marriage? The History Shaping Today’s Debate Over Gay Equality
by George Chauncey (2004), $22, 200 pages, Basic Books, New York, NY; 212-340-8100.
University of Chicago history professor Chauncy explains the origins of our contemporary discussion of marriage rights by illuminating historical attitudes toward homosexuality and toward marriage.

Why Marriage Matters
by Evan Wolfson (2004), $16 hardcover, 242 pages, Simon & Schuster, New York, NY.
Civil rights attorney Evan Wolfson presents an engaging and logical discussion of crucial issues such as: why marriage is so important, why not use another word, will same-sex marriage affect churches, and is it harmful to children? Following the landmark Massachusetts ruling that same-sex couples must be equally treated and allowed marriage. Wolfson presents a compelling, common sense argument for the right to marry
Note: The Massachusetts ruling is detailed here: Massachusetts Offers Marriage

Why You Should Give a Damn About Gay Marriage
by Davina Kotulski, PhD (2004), $13, Alyson Books, Los Angeles, California.
Maps out the legal issues, inequities of forbidding marriage, anti-gay arguments against equality, and numerous suggestions for political action. Shows the great disparity between how same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples are treated, and of the membership privileges society affords married couples. More info:

—— Articles ——

“The Battle For Marriage: What we have to lose”
by Gabriel Rotello, Out Magazine, October, 1994, pg. 106.

“Bridal Wave”
by Michelangelo Signorile, December/January 1994, Out Magazine, pg. 68.

“The Danish Act on Registered Partnership”
translated by the National Danish Organization for Gays & Lesbians, $2, Paz y Liberacion, Box 66450, Houston, TX 77266. English version of Danish “almost-marriage” law for same-sex couples.

“Gay and Conservative”
by Marvin Liebman, numerous gay/lesbian newspapers — January 1995.

“Going to the Chapel: Is lesbian and gay marriage the next logical step?”
by Jeffrey Nickel, February 11, 1991, The Gay Community News, pg. 8.

“To Have, to Hold”
by Robert Bray and Beth Barrett (1996), $11, National LGBTQ Task Force, 1325 Massachusetts Ave. NW, #600, Washington, DC 20005
202-393-5177; fax 202-393-2241;
An important organizing tool.

“To Have, to Hold: The case for gay marriage”
by Gabriel Rotello, June 24, 1996, The Nation, pg.11.

“Holy Matrimony”
by David Thorpe and Maria DeLao, May/June 1995, 10 Percent, pg. 56.

“Let Them Wed”
editorial, January 6, 1996, The Economist, pg. 13.

“On Our Way to ‘I Do’”
marriage supplement, November 24th, 1995, Bay Windows.

“Wedded to the Past”
by Jeffrey Nickel, September 15, 1995, The Boston Phoenix, pg. 13.

“What’s Wrong With the Gay Rights Movement, and How to Fix It”
by Jeffrey Nickel, August 3, 1992, Christopher Street, issue #184.

“An Analysis of the Law Regarding Same-Sex Marriage, Civil Unions, and Domestic Partnerships”
(March 2005), a free PDF download from the American Bar Association and the Section of Family Law Working Group on Same-Sex Marriages and Non-Marital Unions.
Legal and social issues, excellent historical account. Download here: Same-Sex Marriage White Paper

—— Law Review Articles ——

“Aloha, Marriage? Constitutional and choice of law arguments for recognition of same-sex marriages”
by Thomas Keane (February 1995), Stanford Law Review, Vol. 47, pp. 499-532.

“Competitive Federalism and the Legislative Incentives to Recognize Same-Sex Marriage”
by Jennifer Brown (May 1995), Southern California Law Review, Vol. 68, pp. 745-839. An excellent review of the data and outstanding reasons why the first state to allow legal marriage will make a bundle.

“A Conflict of Laws and Morals: The choice of law implications of Hawaii’s recognition of same-sex marriages”
by Joseph Hovermill (1994), Maryland Law Review, Vol. 53, pp. 450-493.

“Crossing the Threshold: Equal marriage rights for lesbians and gay men and the intra-community critique”
by Evan Wolfson (1995), NYU Review of Law and Social Change, Vol. XXI, #3, pp. 567-615. Presents excellent legal and philosophic arguments.

“Family, Definitions, and the Constitution: On the antimiscegenation analogy”
by Mark Strasser (1991), Suffolk U. Law Review, Vol. 25, pp. 981-1034

“A History of Same-Sex Marriage”
by William Eskridge, Jr. (1993), Virginia Law Review, Vol. 49, pp. 1419-1513.

“Marriage, Law, and Gender: A feminist inquiry”
by Nan Hunter (1991), Law & Sexuality, Vol. 1, pp. 9-30.

“Reflections on the Lesbian and Gay Marriage Debate”
by Harlon Dalton (1991), Law & Sexuality, Vol. 1, pp. 1-8.

“Same-Sex Marriage”
by Otis Damslet (1993), NY Law School Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 10, pp. 555-593.

“Same-Sex Marriage: A review”
by Adrienne Wilson (1991), William Mitchell Law Review, Vol. 17, pp. 539-562.

“Same-Sex Marriage and Choice-of-Law: If we marry in Hawaii, are we still married when we return home?”
by Barbara Cox (1994), Wisconsin Law Review, pp. 1033-1109.

“’Til Death Do Us Part: Granting full faith and credit to marital status”
by Habib Balian (1995), Southern California Law Review, Vol. 68: 363.

“What If? The legal consequences of marriage and the legal needs of lesbian and gay male couples”
by David L. Chambers (1996/95) Michigan Law Review 447. For a reprint, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope with $1.24 postage affixed, to David L. Chambers, 336 Hutchins Hall, U. Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109;; 313-647-3736; fax 313-763-7415. Presents thorough legal arguments. A seminal work that examines the link between benefits and burdens conferred by civil marriage.

“Why Discrimination Against Lesbians and Gay Men Is Sex Discrimination”
by Andrew Koppelman (May 1994), NYU Law Review, Vol. 69, #2, pp. 197-287.

—— Further Resources ——
Bibliography on Legal Marriage
       from Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund

Key Marriage Articles
       from Partners Task Force for Gay & Lesbian Couples

We welcome additions and updates. Please contact us with the following:
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Thanks to John Wilkinson for updates.

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