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 OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"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