Same-Sex Marriage in the United States: Focus on the Factsby 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 instill reason into the political debate. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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
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Sean Cahill is director of the Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
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