Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and
Gay People's Right to Marry
by Evan Wolfson
Looking for how to talk about why marriage matters? Interested in learning more about the fight for marriage equality? Why Marriage Matters will answer your questions and give you the tools to advance the freedom to marry.
"One of the 100 most influential people in the world"
— Time Magazine
"The distinctive gravity of marriage shines through Wolfson's stories of gay couples seeking recognition."
— New York Times Book Review
"Wolfson articulates the pioneering arguments that have made him one of the nation's most influential gay activists."
— LA Times Book Review
"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
"...thoughtful, reasonable, and eminently worthy..."
— Kirkus Reviews
"Perhaps the most important gay-marriage primer ever written... [A] cogent and moving argument."
— Time Out New York
Civil rights attorney Evan Wolfson has been on the front lines in the battle for the freedom to marry for the past twenty years. In his book, WHY MARRIAGE MATTERS: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry (Simon & Schuster; June 2, 2005; $13.00 paper), with a new foreword by the author, Wolfson presents a compelling case for ending discrimination in marriage.
A truly wonderful resource, Why Marriage Matters is written for two groups of people:
those who already support marriage equality, and want to to have compelling stories, the best arguments, a little bit of history, a little bit of law, and some of what the opposition is saying and how to respond—all in one place, one tool—so they can make the case for marriage equality to their friends, family, and fellow citizens
people who are not yet comfortable with marriage for gay people, but who want to be fair—people who are really wrestling with questions that deserve answers. This book takes their concerns seriously and helps them push past their discomfort and understand what "gay marriage" is really all about.
Wolfson offers concise, well-reasoned responses to ten fundamental questions about gay people and the freedom to marry:
What is marriage?
Will allowing gay couples to marry harm society?
Isn't marriage for procreation?
What about the children?
Isn't marriage a religious matter?
Why not use another word?
Will marriage in one state be honored in others?
Is marriage equality a question of civil rights?
Why does the freedom to marry matter to me?
"Why shouldn't we protect all kids, support all families, treat all Americans equally?" Wolfson asks.
As Wolfson explains, the demand for marriage equality is a question of civil rights—and it is important for America. "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."
About the Author
Evan Wolfson is founder and Executive Director of Freedom to Marry. Recognizing his longtime civil rights leadership in the movement for marriage equality, in 2004 TIME magazine named Evan one of the "100 most influential people in the world." Evan was co-counsel in the historic Hawaii marriage case, argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, served in the Peace Corps in West Africa, and is the author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality and Gay People's Right to Marry.
Talking points for Why Marriage Matters by Evan Wolfson
Q. Isn't marriage a religious matter?
A. Wolfson responds that the issue before the government is equality in the right to marry. Furthermore, any given faith should, and will, retain the right to decide which couples it will or will not marry in its own religious rites.
Q. Isn't marriage about procreation?
A. Wolfson responds that people have many reasons for wanting to marry—love, commitment, security—and there has never been a legal requirement that married couples have children (in fact many married heterosexual couples never do, while many gay parents want the freedom to marry precisely because they are raising kids and want to do so within marriage).
Q. What about the children of gay marriages? Won't they be confused at best?
A. Wolfson counters that those who argue for discrimination in marriage are harming children more by denying them the best legal protections and economic safety-net that marriage would bring their family. All children should enjoy the tangible and intangible benefits that marriage can bring.
Q. Why not call same-sex unions something other than "marriages," as many have suggested?
A. Wolfson explains that only marriage can assure full equality under the law, as well as full security and protection for families. Creating a "parallel, non-marriage marital status" falls far short of the full equal rights the Constitution guarantees to all Americans, including gay Americans.
WHY MARRIAGE MATTERS:
America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry
Publication Date: June 2, 2005
Email info-AT-freedomtomarry.org for bulk purchases.
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For author photo, jacket photo, and excerpt, visit:
Simon & Schuster
Support the Respect for Marriage Act by contacting your legislative leaders and friends.(Link)
Make sure LGBT families and people are accurately counted in the 2010 census.(Link)
A new report shows the past 10 years have been a period of dramatic gains in equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in America, including sharp increases in the number of LGBT Americans protected by family recognition legislation at the state level. (Link)
Learn more about the 13th annual Freedom to Marry Week, February 8-14, 2010. (Link)