Same-Sex Marriage: Granting Equal Rights or Damaging the Status of Marriage?

Overview

Same-sex marriage is a sharply divisive issue in the United States. Yet in the twenty-first century, cities and states across the nation are beginning to make available a range of legal options for same-sex couples who want to make a commitment to each other. These options include domestic partnership, civil union, and marriage. Advocates in favor of legal marriage point to the many benefits that come with the institution of marriage: tax advantages, adoption and inheritance rights, health-care protections, and ...

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Overview

Same-sex marriage is a sharply divisive issue in the United States. Yet in the twenty-first century, cities and states across the nation are beginning to make available a range of legal options for same-sex couples who want to make a commitment to each other. These options include domestic partnership, civil union, and marriage. Advocates in favor of legal marriage point to the many benefits that come with the institution of marriage: tax advantages, adoption and inheritance rights, health-care protections, and general social recognition. Opponents, on the other hand, believe that marriage is an institution reserved for one man and one woman. Making sense of the debate involves asking tough questions: • Do all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, have a right to legal marriage? • What are the benefits and disadvantages of allowing same-sex couples to marry? • Does same-sex marriage threaten or strengthen families? • Should U.S. courts or the American voting public make the final determination about same-sex marriage? To answer these questions, this book examines the history of the gay rights movement in the United States and the struggle for equal protection under the law, including the right for same-sex couples to marry. It provides the opinions and perspectives of leaders, activists, politicians, and ordinary Americans on both sides of the issue. Supplemented with quotes, anecdotes, and discussions from the pages of USA TODAY, The Nation's No. 1 Newspaper, this book will broaden your understanding of all sides of the issue and help you form your own opinion, either for or against same-sex marriage.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Denise Hartzler
In this title from the "USA Today's Debate: Voices and Perspectives" series, readers are introduced to the debate of same-sex marriage in the United States. Marriage is both a religious experience and a legal, civil contract. Recently many churches have blessed marriages between two people of the same sex. In marriage ceremonies each person pledges to love, honor, and care for each other. But according to U.S. government, same-sex marriage is not legally recognized as a civil contract. According to the "state," legal marriages brings with it serious obligations—and significant benefits. Benefits include, among other things,: health insurance for spouses, shared retirement benefits, tax advantages, inheritance rights and family rates on things such as pool passes, car insurance, etc. However, same-sex couples in a committed relationship are unable to legally marry which means they have to piece together legal protections and sharing arrangements. The benefits mentioned earlier are not automatic. This book is packed with the history of the gay rights movement, debates on whether or not gay marriage is a religious issue, information on a gay family life versus a traditional family life, legal developments in the 1990's as well as 2011. There is a timeline of gay rights movements as well as key court cases, both state and federal from 1969 to present day. A glossary for additional reading and information about organizations are also provided. The material is well presented and is recommended for use in school libraries and for essays or reports. Reviewer: Denise Hartzler
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761364351
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/1/2011
  • Series: USA TODAY's Debate: Voices and Perspectives Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,045,433
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.61 (w) x 8.77 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Tricia Andryszewski is the author of more than 20 nonfiction books for children and young adults. In addition, since 2004 she has been closely following and writing (as Tricia Shapiro) about efforts to end strip mining for coal in Appalachia, particularly the ongoing nonviolent civil-disobedience campaigns against mountaintop removal mining. A native of Pittsburgh, she now lives on a remote mountain homestead in western North Carolina, near the Tennessee border.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 5

Chapter 1 The Background: Gay Rights in the United States 11

Chapter 2 Gay Marriage as a Religious Issue 23

Chapter 3 What Kind of Country? 37

Chapter 4 Domestic Partnership 55

Chapter 5 Gay Family Life 67

Chapter 6 Politics and Legal Developments in the 1990s 79

Chapter 7 Massachusetts and Beyond 93

Timeline 108

Glossary 113

Source Notes 115

Selected Bibliography 119

Organizations to Contact 121

Further Information 123

Index 125

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