The Long Arc of Justice: Lesbian and Gay Marriage, Equality, and Rights / Edition 1

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Overview

Engaging the whole spectrum of public-policy issues affecting gays and lesbians from a humanistic and philosophical approach, Richard Mohr uses the tools of his trade to assess the logic and ethics of gay rights. Focusing on ideas and values, Mohr's nuanced case for legal and social acceptance applies widely held ethical principles to various issues, including same-sex marriage, AIDS, and gays in the military. By drawing on cultural-, legal-, and ethical-based arguments, Mohr moves away from tired political rhetoric and reveals the important ways in which the struggle for gay rights and acceptance relates to mainstream American society, history, and political life.Mohr forcefully counters moralistic and religious arguments regularly invoked to keep gay men and women from achieving the same rights as heterosexuals. He examines the nature of prejudices and other cultural forces that work against lesbian and gay causes and considers the role that sexuality plays in the national rituals by which Americans define themselves. In his support of same-sex marriage, Mohr defines matrimony as the development and maintenance of intimacy through the means by which people meet their basic needs and carry out their everyday living. Mohr contends that this definition, in both its legal and moral sense, applies equally to homosexual and heterosexual couples. Mohr also considers gays and lesbians as community members as he explores the prospect for greater legal and social inclusion. He concludes by suggesting that recent progress in addressing civil rights for gays and lesbians and the nation's symbolic use of gay issues on both sides of the political spectrum calls for a culturally focused gay politics.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Washington Blade - Johanna Lunglhofer

A clever and insightful explanation...Throughout the book, Mohr makes his points well.

gsyndicate.com - Richard Labonte

Eloquent articulation of what gays deserve from American society.

Gay & Lesbian Review - James S. Stramel

The Long Arc of Justice is a powerful little book of applied ethics in which Richard Mohr devotes his characteristic analytic rigor to a broad range of important gay and lesbian issues.

Inside Illinois - Sarah Scalia

The book redefines and elevates contemporary discussions regarding rights for gays and lesbians.

TWN - South Florida's Gay Community Newspaper - Jesse Monteagudo

The result is a book that is a readable and relevant as its predecessor was over a decade ago.

Hypatia - Patrick D. Hopkins

An excellent book... Definitely worth reading and is refreshing in its creativity, clarity, and conviction that justice is slowly moving.

APA Newsletter - James S> Stramel

The Long Arc of Justice is a powerful little book of applied ethics in which Richard Mohr applies his characteristic analytical rigor and penetrating cultural analysis to the broad range of important gay and lesbian issues... I expect this book will become the industry standard.

Washington Blade
A clever and insightful explanation...Throughout the book, Mohr makes his points well.

— Johanna Lunglhofer

gsyndicate.com
This eloquent articulation of what gays deserve from American society.

— Richard Labonte

Just Out

An engaging and challenging blend of politics, ethics and philosophical discourse, Arc is a must-read for anyone who's even remotely interested in where the queer rights movement is going and where it has been.

Gay & Lesbian Review
The Long Arc of Justice is a powerful little book of applied ethics in which Richard Mohr devotes his characteristic analytic rigor to a broad range of important gay and lesbian issues.

— James S. Stramel

Inside Illinois
The book redefines and elevates contemporary discussions regarding rights for gays and lesbians.

— Sarah Scalia

APA Newsletter
The Long Arc of Justice is a powerful little book of applied ethics in which Richard Mohr applies his characteristic analytical rigor and penetrating cultural analysis to the broad range of important gay and lesbian issues... I expect this book will become the industry standard.

— James S. Stramel

TWN - South Florida's Gay Community Newspaper
The result is a book that is a readable and relevant as its predecessor was over a decade ago.

— Jesse Monteagudo

Between the Lines Newspaper
Eloquent articulation of what gays deserve from American society.

— Richard Labonte

Hypatia

An excellent book... Definitely worth reading and is refreshing in its creativity, clarity, and conviction that justice is slowly moving.

— Patrick D. Hopkins

Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy
An excellent book... Definitely worth reading and is refreshing in its creativity, clarity, and conviction that justice is slowly moving.

— Patrick D. Hopkins

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231135214
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 4/24/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard D. Mohr is professor of philosophy at the University of Illinois-Urbana. He is the author of The Platonic Cosmology; Gays/Justice: A Study of Ethics, Society, and Law; Gay Ideas: Outing and Other Controversies; A More Perfect Union: Why Straight America Must Stand Up for Gay Rights; and Pottery, Politics, Art: George Ohr and the Brothers Kirkpatrick. A public intellectual, he has also written for The Nation, The Advocate, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Boston Globe, and the Chicago Tribune.

Columbia University Press

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Read an Excerpt

Mohr on morality:
"Sometimes 'morality' just means the values generally held by members of a society, its mores, norms, and customs. On this understanding, gays are probably not moral: lots of people hate them, and social customs are designed to register widespread disapproval of gays. The problem here is that this sense of morality is merely a descriptive one. On this understanding, every society has a morality, even Nazi society."

Mohr on marriage:
"'Gay marriage.' It used to sound to the American ear not just like an oxymoron (say 'a cruel kindness' or 'an honest thief'), but a flat-out self-contradiction (say, 'a round square' or a 'female bachelor'), something that is a logical impossibility, a phrase that was false by the very meaning of its terms, quite independently of any reference to facts. But with all the talk of 'gay marriage' generated by the Right, the phrase now sounds about as unshocking as the phrase 'gay couples.'"

Mohr on the future of gay rights:
"The trajectory of gays in America, after legal justice, will probably be more like that of Jews after the Civil Rights era than that of blacks. Jews were both a major constituency and major force in getting the 1964 Civil Rights Act passed. At the time, it was thought that Jews would be major beneficiaries of its provision, but in fact there are almost no Civil Rights Act cases with Jewish plaintiffs. Blatant discrimination against Jews trailed off just as legal protections against such discrimination were coming into play."

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Table of Contents

Introduction: A Taboo's End1 Lesbian and Gay Basics: Some Questions, Facts, and Values2 Sexual Privacy3 The Case for Lesbian and Gay Marriage4 Equality5 Civil Rights6 Understanding Lesbians and Gay Men in the MilitaryConclusion: America's Promise and the Lesbian and Gay FutureNotesAcknowledgments

Columbia University Press

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