Same-Sex Marriage in the United States: The Road to the Supreme Court and Beyond (Paperback)Jason Pierceson (author)
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Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Number of pages: 280
Weight: 435 g
Dimensions: 232 x 152 x 20 mm
Edition: Updated Edition
Pierceson tells the story of the significant and, by any standard, surprisingly rapid legal and political shift that has taken place with regard to same-sex marriage in the US over the past 20 years. The controversial topic brings into play major dimensions of US polity and political culture: federalism, the role of the courts, and the role of religion in politics and law. Background chapters on developments between 1950 and 1990 as well as same-sex marriage around the world provide context for the examination of litigation. Chapters on developments in the Midwest, East, and South are followed by one on same-sex marriage and the Supreme Court. The analysis, careful and well documented, is a work of advocacy scholarship. The movement toward same-sex marriage is described as "progressive" and attempts to stop or reverse these developments are described as a backlash to this progress. Natural law, on which opponents of same-sex marriage rely, is described as "deeply sexist and heterosexist." Informative up-to-date review and analysis of one of the defining issues of the polity. Summing Up: Recommended. All readership levels. * CHOICE *
As the Supreme Court considers two major same-sex marriage cases, Pierceson (political science, Univ. of Illinois, Springfield) provides a detailed account of the rise of this issue as a major national focus. Both chronologically and geographically, he examines legislative and judicial action on the matter as it has arisen in state after state, producing an excellent survey of the litigation and legislation related to same-sex marriage, beginning in the 1950s. His book also explains the political forces-both progressive and conservative-that have shaped the national conversation on the subject. Though Pierceson's major focus is on the United States, he includes a chapter devoted to the politics and laws related to same-sex marriage elsewhere. At the time of writing, the author projected that the Supreme Court would hear cases related to the Defense of Marriage Act and to California's Proposition 8, which has come to pass, and concludes by offering predictions about how the court will rule. VERDICT A fine source for studying the same-sex marriage debate, especially in the United States, this title offers useful insights for researchers. Though academic, the writing here is approachable and its style agreeable enough for general readers interested in the development of this important national topic. * Library Journal *
Pierceson provides a timely exploration of marriage equality's path to the U.S. Supreme Court, demonstrating that the Court's ultimate intervention takes place against the backdrop of a long-term -- and largely state-based -- legal, political, and cultural battle for relationship equality. His detailed exploration of the movement for relationship equality at the state level reveals the crucial and productive impact of LGBT advocates' sophisticated litigation strategy. Pierceson's analysis demonstrates that if marriage equality ultimately prevails, advocates' shrewd deployment of litigation must be counted as a significant contributor to that success. -- Douglas NeJaime, Loyola Law School
Jason Pierceson has given us an engaging and richly informative history of the struggle for marriage equality in the United States. It has something for everybody. The general public will appreciate Pierceson's accessible prose and penchant for story-telling. Sociolegal scholars and scholars of LGBT rights will prize both the way Pierceson revisits and re-envisions key historical moments in the battle for marriage equality and his exploration of marriage equality politics in states and localities across the nation. -- Ellen Anderson, University of Vermont
Jason Pierceson's book reminds us that, while the debate over marriage equality has become a central issue in US politics in recent years, the history is quite a long one. That rich history is captured in this well-written account of that legal and political battle in the American states. In addition to reminding us of the actors involved in the early days of the debate, this excellent book also shows the diversity of responses to the issue of same-sex marriage around a complex nation whose states have different demographics, different politics, and different legal traditions. -- Jay Barth, Hendrix College
A fascinating survey of developments in same-sex marriage across the states, offering an integrated law and politics approach. Pierceson's focus on the Midwest is particularly welcome, demonstrating the complex interplay of progressive and conservative political forces in litigation, legislative and constitutional battles in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin. -- Miriam Smith, York University
A superb account of how the question of same-sex marriage has become one of the preeminent civil rights issues of our time. Pierceson masterfully weaves together the legal, political, and cultural factors that are inexorably leading courts, legislatures, and most Americans to support same-sex marriage. Anyone who is interested in how our legal and political systems address claims of justice and equality will want to read this wonderful and timely book. -- Carlos A. Ball, author of From the Closet to the Courtroom
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