Issues involving gay rights have a tendency to separate those who normally fall on opposing sides and join those who are usually at odds. Both Clinton and Dole, for example, have supported a recent bill in the Senate to allow other states the right not to recognize same-sex marriages made in Hawaii. Eskridge, a Georgetown University professor, has produced a thoughtful book on this polarizing issue, taking the position that Americans should extend the right of legal marriage to same-sex couples because of the civilizing influence of the marriage bond.
From Publishers Weekly
It is difficult to see that this study, by a professor at Georgetown Law Center, will change many minds. Although Eskridge's prose is not turgid, it definitely is legalistic, so his appeal will be more to judges and lawyers than to the general public. His argument for same-sex marriages is that the focus of wedlock is on interpersonal commitment and that, in denying same-sex couples the right to contract permanent unions, the law is denying gays the same rights that straights enjoy. And he demonstrates that, in case after case, homophobia is at the root of that denial, even though various other rationalizations are advanced, including historical precedent, the probability that no children will be produced and, in one amusing instance (in Hawaii), that tourism will be discouraged. Some may find it surprising that one segment of the homosexual community strongly opposes marriage of any sort.
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