Legalizing Gay Marriage

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Mello regards the widespread and virulent opposition to any form of same-sex unions as proof that in Vermont, as elsewhere, homosexuals are indeed a "despised minority" in need of the law's protection. Thus, civil union laws represent only a partial victory because they create a separate and inherently unequal category of relationships for gay people. Mello's analysis of the issues provides a guide to the battles being waged in state legislatures and by politicians at the national level.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In December 1999, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that denying same-sex couples the rights and privileges of marriage was unconstitutional. The subsequent firestorm of homophobic protest constrained the state legislature to jettison same-sex marriage and instead craft a "separate but equal" alternative, the civil union. Mello (Vermont Law Sch.), a vocal advocate of same-sex marriage, witnessed the controversy, which he recounts here with the passion he has brought to his previous works on capital punishment (e.g., Deathwork). This is not a coolly detached account after the fact but an unabashedly biased narrative that skillfully navigates the swirling background of legal, historical, political, social, and ethical issues. While acknowledging the courage of the Vermont legislators in passing the civil unions bill in an election year and in the face of intense opposition, Mello argues that it creates a "separate and unequal" status inferior to marriage for gay and lesbian couples, a view with which recent court rulings in Massachusetts and three Canadian provinces concur. This timely and provocative work is a controversial but much-needed addition to both public and academic libraries.-Richard J. Violette, Special Libs. Cataloguing, Victoria, B.C. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592130795
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2004
  • Series: America in Transition Series
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Vermont : a preview of America's war over same-sex civil marriage 1
2 The Baker decision ; a legitimate exercise in constitutional adjudication 27
3 Backlash against gays and lesbians : a despised minority in Vermont 45
4 Vermont's "third way" : enacting civil unions as an alternative to civil marriage 74
5 The choice : what's wrong with Vermont's civil marriage substitute 142
6 Conclusion : three years after 193
App Vermont Supreme Court decision for Baker v. state 197
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