America's Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage

America's Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage chronicles the evolution of the social movement for same-sex marriage in the United States and examines the political controversies surrounding gay people's quest for access to the civil institution of marriage. The book focuses on the momentous events that began in November 2003, when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court declared unequivocally that the state's conferral of marriage only on opposite-sex couples violated constitutional principles of respect for individual autonomy and equality under law. The decision both triggered a political backlash of national proportion and prompted officials in San Francisco, Multnomah County (OR), Sandoval County (NM), and New Paltz (NY) to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The volume relies on in-depth interviews to provide an insider account of how courts, politicians, and activists maneuver and deal with a cutting-edge social policy issue, as well as real-life narratives about everyday people whom the debate immediately affects.


"The United States is in the midst of an extraordinary but little-understood social revolution: the struggle to win legal recognition of same-sex marriages. Amidst a storm of passionate rhetoric, for and against, Daniel Pinello's book compiles fascinating stories of real people who are being swept up in these struggles--including county clerks, state judges and legislators, activists and, most of all, gay and lesbian couples hoping to win new standing in the eyes of their fellow citizens and American law. A lawyer and political scientist, Pinello provides keen insight into the still-emerging legal and political issues. But he keeps his focus on the human beings for whom this issue matters so much. A truly illuminating book." --Rogers M. Smith, University of Pennsylvania

"In America's Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage, Dan Pinello brings the issue to life by showing us the people behind the headlines and the way that the issue affected public officials, couples who were allowed to dream of marriage for at least a season, and churches that mobilized to defend their idea of marriage. This is a book full of drama, but it is also full of useful detail on the workings of state and local governments as they grapple with moral policy. The universe of highly-readable books with serious pedagogical value is quite small. This is a book that I will assign to undergraduate students with confidence that they will read for both enjoyment and education." -Clyde Wilcox, Georgetown University

"Dan Pinello has written a book that is engaging, easy to read, and appropriate for a variety of different undergraduate classes. It would be a useful text for upper-level courses on judicial or interest group politics, but also for introductory American politics classes, because the book can prompt discussions about so many different facets of American politics in addition to its obvious utility as a primer on a major civil rights issue. … And as a bonus, the book serves as a corrective to the notion that individuals have little power in the political system. In this book, individual actors make a very big difference and the stories they tell will resonate with even the most jaded student."
Ellen Ann Andersen, Law and Politics Book Review

Reference Title: References

Reference Type: reference-list

Reference Type: reference-list

Adams v. Howerton. 1980. 486 F.Supp. 1119.
Akers, Joshua. 2004. “GOP Says Sandoval Clerk ‘A Disgrace.’” Albuquerque Journal, April 21.
Andersen, Ellen Ann. 2005. Out of the Closets and into the Courts. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Badgett, M. V. Lee, and R. Bradley Sears. 2005. “Putting a Price on Equality? The Impact of Same-Sex Marriage on California's Budget.” Stanford Law & Policy Review 16: 197.
Baehr v. Lewin. 1993. 74 Haw. 645, 852 P.2d 44.
Baker v. Nelson. 1971. 191 N.W.2d 185.
Baker v. State. 1999. 170 Vt. 194, 744 A.2d 864.
Belluck, Pam. 2004. “Maybe Same-Sex Marriage Didn't Make the Difference.” New York Times, November 7, p. WK5.
Bowers v. Hardwick. 1986. 478 U.S. 186.
Cahill, Sean. 2004. Same-Sex Marriage in the United States: Focus on the Facts. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books.
Campbell, David E., and J. Quin Monson. 2005. “The Religion Card: Evangelicals, Catholics, and Gay Marriage in the 2004 Presidential Election.” Presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, D.C.
Canon, Bradley C. 1998. “The Supreme Court and Policy Reform: The Hollow Hope Revisited.” In Schultz, Leveraging the Law.
Coordination Proceeding. 2005. 2005 WL 583129.
Dahl, Robert A. 1957. “Decision-Making in a Democracy: The Supreme Court as a National Policy-Maker.” Journal of Public Law 6: 279.
De Santo v. Barnsley. 1984. 476 A.2d 952.
Dean v. District of Columbia. 1992. 18 FLR 1141.
Duberman, Martin. 1993. Stonewall. New York: Dutton.
Dupuis, Martin. 2002. Same-Sex Marriage, Legal Mobilization, and the Politics of Rights. New York: Peter Lang.
Ebbert, Stephanie. 2002. “Horse Lovers Say They Were Duped.” Boston Globe, March 26, p. B2.
Eskridge, William N., Jr. 1999. Gaylaw: Challenging the Apartheid of the Closet. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Garrow, David J. 2004. “Toward a More Perfect Union.” New York Times Magazine, May 9, p. 52.
Gerstmann, Evan. 2005. “Litigating Same-Sex Marriage: Might the Courts Actually Be Bastions of Rationality?” PS: Political Science and Politics 38: 217.
Goodridge v. Department of Public Health. 2003. 440 Mass. 309, 798 N.E.2d 941.
Greenberger, Scott S. 2005. “One Year Later, Nation Divided on Gay Marriage.” Boston Globe, May 15.
“Group Drops Bid to Ban Same-Sex Marriage.” 2005. New York Times, December 29, p. A24.
Hillygus, D. Sunshine, and Todd G. Shields. 2005. “Moral Issues and Voter Decision Making in the 2004 Presidential Election.” PS: Political Science and Politics 38: 201.
Jones v. Hallahan. 1973. 501 S.W.2d 588.
Klein, Ethel D. 2005. “The Anti-Gay Backslash?” In H. N. Hirsch ed., The Future of Gay Rights in America. New York: Routledge.
Kuykendall, Mae. 2001. “Gay Marriages and Civil Unions: Democracy, the Judiciary, and Discursive Space in the Liberal Society.” Mercer Law Review 52: 1003.
Lawrence v. Texas. 2003. 539 U.S. 558.
LeBlanc, Steve. 2005. “Massachusetts Legislature Rejects Proposed Amendment Banning Gay Marriage.” Boston Globe, September 14.
Lewis, Gregory B. 2005. “Same-Sex Marriage and the 2004 Presidential Election.” PS: Political Science and Politics 38: 195.
Lewis, Raphael. 2004. “A Rift on Gay Unions Fuels a Coup at Polls.” Boston Globe, September 26.
Li v. State. 2005. 338 Or. 376, 110 P.3d 91.
Lockyer v. City and County of San Francisco. 2004. 33 Cal.4th 1055, 95 P.3d 459.
Loving v. Virginia. 1967. 388 U.S. 1.
Marotta, Toby. 1981. The Politics of Homosexuality. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
McCann, Michael W. 1994. Rights at Work: Pay Equity Reform and the Politics of Legal Mobilization. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
McGivern, Tim. 2004. “Defining Marriage.” Weekly Alibi, March 11–17.
Medina, Jennifer. 2005. “Charges Dropped against Mayor Who Performed Gay Weddings.” New York Times, July 13, p. B5.
Merrick v. Board of Higher Education. 1992. 116 Or.App. 258, 841 P.2d 646.
Moats, David. 2004. Civil Wars: A Battle for Gay Marriage. Orlando, Fla.: Harcourt.
Murphy, Dean E. 2005. “Schwarzenegger to Veto Same-Sex Marriage Bill.” New York Times, September 8, p. A18.
Opinions of the Justices to the Senate. 2004. 440 Mass. 1201, 802 N.E.2d 565.
Ottenheimer, Martin. 1996. Forbidden Relatives: The American Myth of Cousin Marriage. Champaign: University of Illinois Press.
Perez v. Sharp. 1948. 32 Cal.2d 711, 198 P.2d 17.
Phillips, Frank. 2003. “Support for Gay Marriage: Mass. Poll Finds Half in Favor.” Boston Globe, April 8.
Phillips, Frank. 2004. “Prospects Shift as DiMasi Takes over for Finneran.” Boston Globe, September 28.
Pinello, Daniel R. 2003. Gay Rights and American Law. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Plessy v. Ferguson. 1896. 163 U.S. 537.
Reed, Douglas S. 1999. “Popular Constitutionalism: Toward a Theory of State Constitutional Meanings.” Rutgers Law Journal 30: 871.
Riggle, Ellen D. B., and Barry L. Tadlock. 1999. “Gays and Lesbians in the Democratic Process: Past, Present, and Future.” In Ellen D. B. Riggle and Barry L. Tadlock (eds.), Gays and Lesbians in the Democratic Process: Public Policy, Public Opinion, and Political Representation. New York: Columbia University Press.
Rosenberg, Gerald N. 1991. The Hollow Hope: Can Courts Bring about Social Change? Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Scheingold, Stuart A. 1974. The Politics of Rights: Lawyers, Public Policy and Political Change. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.
Schultz, David A., ed. 1998. Leveraging the Law: Using the Courts to Achieve Social Change. New York: Peter Lang.
Sherrill, Kenneth. 2005. “Same-sex Marriage, Civil Unions, and the 2004 Presidential Vote.” In H. N. Hirsch, ed., The Future of Gay Rights in America. New York: Routledge.
Shorto, Russell. 2005. “What's Their Real Problem with Gay Marriage? (It's the Gay Part).” New York Times Magazine, June 19, p. 34.
Singer v. Hara. 1974. 11 Wash.App. 247, 522 P.2d 1187.
Staszewski, Glen. 2005. “The Bait-and-Switch in Direct Democracy.” Manuscript, Michigan State University College of Law.
Sullivan, Andrew, ed. 2004. Same-Sex Marriage: Pro and Con. A Reader. New York: Vintage.
Wolfson, Evan. 2004. Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry. New York: Simon & Schuster.