Why Marriage: The History Shaping Today's Debate Over Gay Equality
"George Chauncey, one of our country's preeminent historians of gay life shows how the gay quest for marriage rights resulted from generations of change in marriage itself as well as decades of struggle over gay rights. In an account of the changing place of lesbians and gay men in American society, he recalls the pervasive discrimination faced by lesbians and gay men only a few decades ago, when the federal government fired thousands of gay employees and restaurants were shut down merely for serving them. He shows how the AIDS crisis, the boom in lesbian and gay parenting, and the continuing discrimination faced by gay families - in insurance, pensions, and child custody struggles - led to the campaign for the rights and protections of marriage." "Chauncey provides an analysis of the shifting attitudes of heterosexual Americans toward gay people, from the dramatic growth in acceptance to the many campaigns against gay rights that form the background to today's demand for a constitutional amendment on marriage. He also develops a comparison between the religious opposition to interracial marriage and desegregation just fifty years ago and the sources of opposition to same-sex marriage today. Why Marriage? is an essential book for gay and straight readers alike."--Dust jacket.
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