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Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America Paperback – December 23, 2004
"The Black Presidency"
Rated by Vanity Fair as one of our most lucid intellectuals writing on race and politics today, this book is a provocative and lively look into the meaning of America's first black presidency. Learn more
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Rauch, a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, columnist for National Journal, and a writer-in-residence at the Brookings Institution, tends to de-emphasize the all-too-common "equal rights" argument and suggests, instead, that gay marriage would be good for American society because it would increase respect for the institution of marriage itself. To be clear about this, he doesn't dismiss the matter of equal rights but says "I wouldn't support same-sex marriage as a matter of equal rights if I thought it would wreck opposite-sex marriage."
One of the very basic questions regarding the question of marriage is, What is marriage for? He spends an entire chapter discussing this question, which sets the stage for his argument that gay marriage would be good, not only for gays, but for straights and for marriage in general. So, what is marriage for? Well, whatever else it is, he says, "it is a commitment to be there." I interpret him to mean that in this special relationship called "marriage," both parties to the compact promise to help and comfort one another when times are tough, in sickness and in health, etc., etc., which is, of course, a common understanding of what is, in fact, involved in a marriage -- at least ideally. He uses the term "prime-caregiver" and maintains that this is an essential condition of the marriage relationship.Read more ›
De-mystifying most of the arguments made by conservatives, Rauch nonetheless is willing to be open and fair with them...to a point. His point, that same-sex marriage will be good for everyone is accurate, but as he also stresses it could have the possibility of a downside in its implementation. His premise reflects the old saying, "a rising tide lifts all boats".
Rauch encourages the reader to think about the issue which is good advice as it seems that so many in the United States more viscerally react to the idea of same-sex marriage than give it a mindful rendering. In his discussion regarding what some perceive to be an immature side to homosexuality I wish he had made note of one thing.....the fact that a few states allow heterosexual minors to marry... Hawaii and Georgia for instance, allow marriages at sixteen.
The author makes it clear that until gay marriage is accepted homosexuals will continue to be viewed as second-class citizens. Civil unions just won't do, he remarks, but adds that at least they are better than nothing. His beginning and ending chapters reflect what all gays feel and all straights should read....imagining a life without the possibility of marriage. Jonathan Rauch gives clarity to his arguments and a hope that marriage will someday be an option for all people. His book is not so much ahead of its time, but more appropriately right on time....and right on the mark.
Author Jonathan Rauch provides a timely powerful argument that gender is not the key. Instead if a couple fall in love why can't they marry and care for each other as they grow old together. Mr. Rauch says whether the couple consists of a man and a woman, a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, who cares. What should matter is the participants are willing adults wanting to form a permanent relationship that actually enhances the community.
Mr. Rauch logically defends GAY MARRIAGE as supporting family values and strengthening the meaning of marriage while making and extending the inclusiveness of basic rights. Easy to follow the critical thinking path laid out by the author in which he eloquently defends that if marriage is a sacred historical bond between a man and a woman, then why does so many break this "consecrated" act including social conservatives who scream for its sanctity. Those unsure of their stand will find Mr. Rauch makes quite a powerful pitch reversing the arguments of opponents by using the social conservative's logic to defend GAY MARRIAGE. For a well written historical similar venue involving interracial couples, see the well written TELL THE COURT I LOVE MY WIFE: RACE, MARRIAGE, AND LAW - AN AMERICAN HISTORY by Peter Wallenstein.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A timely, very readable book. SCOTUS Decision is a start but this book lends a unique perspective to this important step as we proceed from fear based aversion to a comfortable... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Smoke
It's a sad commentary on our society that just about the only people eager to marry these days are sodomite filth. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Swamiji
This was a well-written book. I do have to say that if you're looking for clever wit, this might not be a good book. It's very dry. But it has a wealth of insight nonetheless.Published on January 2, 2014 by Alexzander Joseph
an excellent, balanced consideration of many facets of a hot issue, also lucid, enjoyable prose. Bought 2 extra copies to give to friends.Published on December 7, 2012 by Christa Rakich
Anyone who is wanting full inclusion of rights for the GLBT community needs to read this. The author gives clear insight about same sex marriage and how it simply will NOT do... Read morePublished on March 11, 2011 by George Jonte
Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America
(New York: Times Books/Henry Holt, 2004) 207 pages
(ISBN:... Read more
I got a little over half way through the book, before I finally just pit it away. The target for this book is really more for straight people who are maybe just on the fence about... Read morePublished on August 15, 2010 by Billy F. Spillman
We can be thankful at least in Rauch's book that he doesn't paint those of us who are conservative Christians as homophobes who hate homosexuals. Read morePublished on June 25, 2009 by Nick Peters