Same-Sex Marriage: The Moral and Legal Debate

Same-Sex Marriage: The Moral and Legal Debate

by Robert M. Baird, Stuart E. (Eds.) Rosenbaum
     
 

The issue of same-sex marriage has attracted the attention of many political and cultural interests. Same-Sex Marriage: The Moral and Legal Debate presents a balanced sampling of diverse and cogent arguments by academics, politicians, journalists, attorneys, judges, and activists. The perspectives range from the views of lesbian feminists, who decry the institution of…  See more details below

Overview

The issue of same-sex marriage has attracted the attention of many political and cultural interests. Same-Sex Marriage: The Moral and Legal Debate presents a balanced sampling of diverse and cogent arguments by academics, politicians, journalists, attorneys, judges, and activists. The perspectives range from the views of lesbian feminists, who decry the institution of marriage as an instrument of oppression, to those of religious and cultural conservatives, who see same-sex marriage as the fatal undermining of traditional family structure and even of Western civilization itself.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Although it is clear from his introduction that Sullivan (Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality), a senior editor at the New Republic, is in favor of same-sex marriage, he presents here an astonishing variety of readingsfrom the Bible and legal decisions to Hannah Arendt, James Q. Wilson, Katha Pollitt, William Safire, Montaigne and Platothat offer points of view on both sides of the argument. Of particular interest is the chapter on same-sex marriage throughout history, which makes it apparent that bonds between homosexuals that were similar to marriage were accepted in many cultures: unions between women and unions between men existed in traditional Chinese society; upper-class women could take girls as wives in parts of Africa; and marriage, or "making of a brother," ceremonies occurred between men in medieval Europe. The author believes that homosexual marriage can be discussed on many levels, and thus he includes statements from religious and political figures, conservatives, liberals, legal scholars and, of course, gay men and lesbians. Sullivan argues that societal acceptance of same-sex marriage would mean complete equality for homosexuals. This impartial anthology will encourage debate on all aspects of the topic. Author tour. (Apr.) FYI: Some of these writers (Sullivan, Safire, Richard Posner) appear in a more academic collection, Same-Sex Marriage: The Moral and Legal Debate, edited by Robert M. Baird and Stuart E. Rosenbaum (Prometheus, $16.95 paper, 242p ISBN 1-57392-129-7, Apr.)
Library Journal
Late last year, the Hawaiian circuit court ruled that the state had no compelling justification for denying gay and lesbian couples the right to wed. The decision opened up what may be the social debate of the decade, and these two titles help to bring the arguments into sharper focus. Same-Sex Marriage, Pro and Con begins with an historically enlightening essay by Sullivan, fomer New Republic editor, whose book on gays and the gay rights movement (Virtually Normal, LJ 9/15/95) shot one of the first broadsides about the same-sex marriage issue. Sullivan explains how this latest "assault" on family values is simply the latest in an ongoing evolution of the marriage institution, from ancient real estate deals to the present-day spiritual bonding of intimates. Other essayists discuss the various arguments from historic, religious, legal, and public-policy points of view. From Plato to Ann Landers, society's experts and pundits, academics and politicians present their views. By contrast, Same-Sex Marriage: The Moral and Legal Debate is authored mainly by professors and journalists, giving this title a drier, more academic tone. Oddly, the book also exhibits more polar oppositions and extremist views on the subject. The focus strays somewhat from the marriage theme and includes articles on counseling same-sex couples and even making the case for discrimination based on sexual orientation itself. For smaller collections that may need only one title on the subject, Sullivan's work is by far the better choice, given the depth and breadth of its coverage. Academic and larger libraries will probably want both titles.Jeffery Ingram, Newport P.L., Ore.
Charles Yarborough
[A] fascinating new book. Same Sex Marriage provides a generous selection of impassioned, philosophical and technical essays, and does so with great evenhandedness...This is one book you won't want to pass by. After all, as contributor Ed Fallon writes, same-sex marriage is "the defining civil rights issue of the decade."
Alternative Family

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781573921299
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
09/01/1997
Series:
Contemporary Issues Series
Edition description:
Older Edition
Pages:
242
Product dimensions:
6.02(w) x 9.07(h) x 0.67(d)

Meet the Author

Robert M. Baird (Waco, TX) is a professor and chair of the Philosophy Department at Baylor University.

Stuart E. Rosenbaum is a professor of philosophy and director of graduate studies in philosophy at Baylor University. He is the editor of Pragmatism and Religion.

Together Baird and Rosenbaum edit the Contemporary Issues Series.

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