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Why Marriage Matters

America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry


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About The Book

"At its core, the freedom-to-marry movement is about the same thing every civil rights struggle has been about: taking seriously our country's promise to be a nation its citizens can make better, its promise to be a place where people don't have to give up their differences or hide them in order to be treated equally."

Why Marriage Matters offers a compelling, intelligently reasoned discussion of a question that still remains in the national consciousness. It is the work of one of the most influential attorneys in America, who has dedicated his life to the protection of individuals' rights and our Constitution's commitment to equal justice under the law. Above all, it is a clear, straightforward book that brings into sharp focus the very human significance of the right to marry in America—not just for some couples, but for all.

Why is the word marriage so important? Will marriage for same-sex couples hurt the "sanctity" of the institution? How can people of different faiths reconcile their beliefs with the idea of marriage for same-sex couples? How will allowing gay couples to marry affect children?

In this quietly powerful volume, the most authoritative and fairly articulated book on the subject, Wolfson demonstrates why the right to marry is important—indeed necessary—for all couples and for America's promise of equality.

About The Author

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Evan Wolfson is an attorney and gay rights activist. He founded Freedom to Marry, the gay and non-gay partnership that worked to win marriage equality nationwide until its 2015 victory. Before founding Freedom to Marry, Wolfson served as marriage project director for Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, was co-counsel in the historic Hawaii marriage case, Baehr v. Miike, and participated in numerous gay rights and HIV/AIDS cases. Between his studies at Yale College and Harvard Law School, Wolfson spent two years with the Peace Corps in West Africa and then worked as a state prosecutor and special counsel in the Iran/Contra investigation. Citing his national leadership on marriage equality and his appearance before the U.S. Supreme Court in Boy Scouts of America v. James Dale, the National Law Journal in 2000 named Wolfson one of "the 100 most influential lawyers in America." In 2004, he was named one of the "Time 100," Time magazine's list of "The 100 most influential people in the world."

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 2, 2005)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780743264594

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Raves and Reviews

"One of the 100 most powerful and influential people in the world."
-- Time

"This is one useful book. Armed with Wolfson's arguments, you could sell anyone with an IQ over room temperature on the wisdom and humanity of marriage equality."
-- The Oregonian

"Gay marriage is one of today's most hotly debated issues. Wolfson articulates the pioneering arguments that have made him one of the nation's most influential gay activists."
-- Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Evan Wolfson's Why Marriage Matters should be required reading. Wolfson's clearly articulated arguments will encourage discussion..."
-- The Advocate

"The distinctive gravity of marriage shines through Wolfson's stories of gay couples seeking recognition."
-- The New York Times Book Review

"Perhaps the most important gay-marriage primer ever written....[A] cogent and moving argument..."
-- Time Out New York

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