What is Marriage For?
In the wake of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s historic Goodridge decision, a reissue of the bible of the same-sex marriage movement
Will same-sex couples destroy "traditional" marriage, soon to be followed by the collapse of all civilization? That charge has been leveled throughout history whenever the marriage rules change. But marriage, as E. J. Graff shows in this lively, fascinating tour through the history of marriage in the West, has always been a social battleground, its rules constantly shifting to fit each era and economy. The marriage debates have been especially tumultuous for the past hundred and fifty years—in ways that lead directly to today's debate over whether marriage could mean not just Boy + Girl = Babies, but also Girl + Girl = Love.
“Read this book if you want to understand the movement for same-sex marriage—and to counter those who argue against it.” —Mary Bonauto, lead counsel in Goodridge v. Mass. Dept. of Public Health
“E. J. Graff’s What Is Marriage For? is the place to start reading for anyone thinking about the words ‘lesbian,’ ‘gay,’ and ‘marriage’ in the same sentence. It’s engaging, it’s fun, and it puts the lie to those prophets of gloom and doom who think every push for greater equality—whether it be women’s suffrage, reproductive rights, or interracial marriage—signals the end of civilization.”—Evan Wolfson, Freedom to Marry
“An enlightening romp through the history of marriage in western Europe and the U.S.” —Cassandra West, Chicago Tribune
What people are saying - Write a review
WHAT IS MARRIAGE FOR?User Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
Why wed? As a financial investment? To have sex? To reproduce the species? To link two families together? This highly informative and enjoyable romp through the history of marriage in Western Europe ... Read full review
What is marriage for?User Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
From her vantage point as a lesbian "married" to her partner for more than a dozen years, journalist Graff writes a semihistory of marriage organized around six main reasons for (Western) marriage ... Read full review
Exchanging It The Marriage Market
Making It The Working Marriage
Being It or Being Without It Slaves and Paupers
Keeping It Aint Nobodys Business If I Say I Do
Keeping It Whats His Is His and Whats Hers Is Whose?
Ignoring It Cant Buy Me Love
Will the Real Parent Please Stand Up Mother Father Other?
Why Have Kids?
Should Lesbians and Gay Men Be Parents?
Marrying Out Barricading the Tribe
Marrying In Protecting the Family
Marrying Early and Marrying Often Polygamy
Marrying Everyone Utopians
Sharing It So Who Needs Marriage?
Refraining 1 Christians Reject Marriage
Reproducing Is It a Marriage Or Is It a Brothel?
Refraining 2 The Protestants Rebel Against Celibacy
Refreshing 1 Heart and Soul v Womb and Sperm
Refreshing 2 Intimate to the Degree of Being Sacred
What Makes a Family?
What Do We Do about Those Little Bastards?
Inside Out or Outside In Who Says Youre Married?
Living Together Is It Marriage Yet?
Remember the Ladies Who Runs the Marriage?
Dissent Untying the Knot or When Can You Say I Dont?
Consent Tying the Knot or Who Can Say I Do?