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Same-Sex Marriage in the United States: Focus on the Facts
     

Same-Sex Marriage in the United States: Focus on the Facts

by Sean Cahill
 
Despite all the recent media attention, Cahill (director, Policy Institute, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force) notes that a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage ranks low on issues of importance to most Americans. In arguing for equality in marriage, he dispels anti-gay myths and presents research findings, trends, laws, party platforms, and stories to

Overview

Despite all the recent media attention, Cahill (director, Policy Institute, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force) notes that a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage ranks low on issues of importance to most Americans. In arguing for equality in marriage, he dispels anti-gay myths and presents research findings, trends, laws, party platforms, and stories to instill reason into the political debate. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The 2000 census was the first to make any realistic estimate of the number of gay/lesbian couples in the United States. Its questions were flexible enough to allow those inclined to indicate same-sex unmarried partner household status. Here, the two largest lesbian and gay lobbyist groups put these data to good use. In their work, Gates and Ost of the Human Rights Campaign present maps of the 50 states indicating concentration of same-sex couples by census tract and county. Other correlations, such as race and number of children, are provided as well. In addition, more than 20 maps of metropolitan areas indicate concentrations by zip code and census tract. The authors discuss some of the issues involved in using census data, the strengths and limitations of these data, and the rationale for doing this work. Though some of the assumptions underlying the enterprise may be questionable, the atlas makes the best use of what data are available and has enough depth to lead to solid analysis of the relationships between geography and gay and lesbian demographics. Libraries with readers interested in contemporary social trends will find this atlas a necessity. Cahill (National Gay and Lesbian Task Force) uses the same data and provides similar maps but in a more limited way since he is focusing on the question of same-sex marriage. And he includes much else besides. Briefly, his book is a m lange of maps, tables, and statistics. It also has a list of rebuttals to arguments against same-sex marriage. Since this topic is of such broad interest and the information contained here is presented so well and succinctly, this work makes a good companion to the atlas. However, the price differential between the paperback and hardcover editions is so large that it seems foolhardy for libraries to purchase the hardcover. David Azzolina, Univ. of Pennsylvania Lib., Philadelphia Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Newsweekly
Tracing the development of same-sex marriage in the United States and its deployment as a political tool, Sean Cahill lays out the current situation in plain language and explains what's at stake.
Choice
In 2003-4, same-sex marriage was certainly among the most visible and contentious social issues in the US. This book presents a timely, clearly written survey of many of the key aspects of the debate and the relevant research relating to it. Altogether, this is an informative, useful contribution to the literature on same-sex marriage. Recommended.
Outsmart
Starting with a primer on how judicial decisions (including the Lawrence v. Texas case with Houston roots) opened the floodgates of debate, Cahill exposes the hidden agendas behind well-financed groups who lead the charge against same-sex marriage.
Gay and Lesbian Times
“They actually used the word ‘hijack’ – just a month after 9-11.”
You can hear the contempt in Sean Cahill’s voice as he quotes the “Christian” front group Concerned Women of America’s claim that the roughly 20 gay and lesbian surviving partners of 9-11 victims were trying to “hijack the moral capital of marriage and apply it to their own relationships.” The reason? These men and women who’d lost their partners 30 days earlier in the worst terrorist attack in American history had the audacity to apply for spousal compensation from the taxpayer-funded September 11 Victims Compensation Fund.
If you ever thought, even for a moment, that the Republican Party’s decades-long effort to demonize gays and lesbians was born of sincere religious conviction; Sean Cahill’s new book Same-Sex Marriage in the United States: Focus on the Facts will quickly disabuse you of the notion. Painstakingly, powerfully and with a passion not implied by the title, the director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Policy Institute makes the Constitutional case for same-sex marriage. In the process, he paints a devastating picture of the Christian political operations that do the dirty work for the Administration and the Republican National Committee.
“A lot of these organizations use gay bashing as a cash cow,” he told the Gay & Lesbian Times in a recent interview. “Gay bashing motivates people to part with their money in a way that abortion doesn’t anymore.”
If Cahill’s analysis is correct, what he calls the “anti-gay movement” has every reason to be terrified. Barring a federal Constitutional amendment, “same-sex marriage” is an all-but-inevitable outcome of a kind of legal perfect storm: The 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, striking down that state’s sodomy law, and the Massachusetts’ Supreme Court’s, five months later, ruling that denying marriage to same-sex couples violates the Commonwealth’s constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process.
In vivid detail Cahill chronicles the incalc
Irish Echo
A fact-driven and fact-heavy book, Cahill takes each argument opposing same-sex marriage and demolishes it point by point, while weaving in additional information about the often-dubious causes that opponents of same-sex marriage are engaged in: against affirmative action, opposing immigration and benefits for legal immigrants, enemies of the Equal Rights Amendment.
R Claire Snyder
Sean Cahill's Same-Sex Marriage in the United States really does 'focus on the facts.' A treasure trove of information, the book offers a crash course on the gay marriage issue and a point by point engagement with critics. It deserves a wide audience.
Tim McFeeley
An essential guide for anyone involved in the highly charged public debate over marriage equality. For policy-makers, Cahill cuts through the rhetoric over marriage equality. For reporters and commentators, Cahill's book is an indispensable reference. And for the public, Cahill lays out a convincing case for marriage equality without emotional clutter.
CHOICE
In 2003-4, same-sex marriage was certainly among the most visible and contentious social issues in the US. This book presents a timely, clearly written survey of many of the key aspects of the debate and the relevant research relating to it. Altogether, this is an informative, useful contribution to the literature on same-sex marriage. Recommended.
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum
In a climate of hysteria and anti-gay rhetoric, Cahill's thoughtful commentary demands our attention. This is an excellent contribution to the current debate on same-sex marriage.
Urvashi Vaid
Cahill presents a refreshingly calm perspective on one of the most polarizing civil rights issues of our time. This essential book provides a succinct overview of the law and policy implications of same-sex marriage and debunks the arguments of its detractors with unimpeachable data. If you want more than a sound bite, if you like intelligent analysis rather than shrill name-calling, read this book.
Kenneth Sherrill
Dr. Cahill makes a compelling case for ending discrimination in the right to marry. The book is timely, concise, factual, and persuasive. It not only makes the case for same-sex marriage, it forcefully refutes the myths, falsehoods, and outright lies that characterize much of the opposition to full equality for LGBT people. The book should be read widely.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780739108819
Publisher:
Lexington Books
Publication date:
08/28/2004
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
5.86(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.65(d)

What People are Saying About This

Tim McFeeley
An essential guide for anyone involved in the highly charged public debate over marriage equality. For policy-makers, Cahill cuts through the rhetoric over marriage equality. For reporters and commentators, Cahill's book is an indispensable reference. And for the public, Cahill lays out a convincing case for marriage equality without emotional clutter.
Urvashi Vaid
Cahill presents a refreshingly calm perspective on one of the most polarizing civil rights issues of our time. This essential book provides a succinct overview of the law and policy implications of same-sex marriage and debunks the arguments of its detractors with unimpeachable data. If you want more than a sound bite, if you like intelligent analysis rather than shrill name-calling, read this book.
Sharon Kleinbaum
In a climate of hysteria and anti-gay rhetoric, Cahill's thoughtful commentary demands our attention. This is an excellent contribution to the current debate on same-sex marriage.
R Claire Snyder
Sean Cahill's Same-Sex Marriage in the United States really does 'focus on the facts.' A treasure trove of information, the book offers a crash course on the gay marriage issue and a point by point engagement with critics. It deserves a wide audience.
Kenneth Sherrill
Cahill makes a compelling case for ending discrimination in the right to marry. The book is timely, concise, factual, and persuasive. It not only makes the case for same-sex marriage, it forcefully refutes the myths, falsehoods, and outright lies that characterize much of the opposition to full equality for LGBT people. The book should be read widely.

Meet the Author

Sean Cahill is director of the Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

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