Chauncey says this short book, written on a three-month deadline and between two long-gestating big books, was a challenge, and his strain shows in some poor and question-begging wording. Nevertheless, this is a swell, partisan, but not particularly argumentative U.S. gay-rights history primer, which makes at least two big points that need to be common knowledge. The first is that active antigay repression is largely a twentieth-century phenomenon; strong antigay law enforcement and many of the laws themselves date from the 1930s and became harsher and spread after World War II. The other is that marriage became a primary gay-rights goal because of AIDS and gay efforts to adopt, for AIDS patients' partners were barred from them in hospitals and stripped of jointly held property after they died, and gays wishing to share responsibility for partners' children had to leap costly legal hurdles. Marriage, with its presumption of mutual rights and responsibilities, would eliminate those and other barriers. Ray Olson
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"A wonderfully readable account of how the issue emerged...[that] thoroughly debunks the myths of 'traditional' marriage." -- New York Times Book Review
"Breathtaking...[a] brilliant, slim, and nuanced volume." -- OUT Magazine
Another fantastic historical acount by George Chauncey of a subject that is often misunderstood and underrepresented. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Antonio Santos
i am getting married to my girlfriend of 4 years, and last night was our engagement party. we had 65 friends and family celebrating our big-fat lesbian wedding. it was wonderful. Read morePublished on January 30, 2006 by jay-luv
This book is an extraordinary exploration of the history of the modern Queer rights movement, and how same-sex marriage came to be a central issue in the past few years. Read morePublished on February 7, 2005 by Jesse Liberty