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Opponents of same-sex marriage in the United States claim that allowing gays and lesbians to marry would undermine the institution of marriage, weaken family structures, and cause harm to children. Drawing from 17 years of data and experience with same-sex marriage in Scandinavia (in the form of registered partnerships), Gay Marriage: For Better or for Worse? is the first book to present empirical evidence about the effects of same-sex marriage on society. Spedale and Eskridge find that the evidence refutes conservative defense-of-marriage arguments and, in fact, demonstrates that the institution of marriage may indeed benefit from the legalization of gay marriage. If we look at the proof from abroad, the authors show, we must conclude that the sanctioning of gay marriage in the United States would neither undermine marriage as an institution, nor harm the wellbeing of our nation's children. "A very interesting book that people should read."--Bill O'Reilly, Host, The O'Reilly Factor "Whatever your views are now on same-sex marriage, this is the book to read to be informed about why same sex couples want legal recognition and what legal union means to them and to the larger community. Spedale and Eskridge give detailed accounts of the effects of registered partnerships in Scandinavia--and along the way, offer fascinating and engaging pictures of many people's lives."--Martha Minow, Jeremiah Smith Jr. Professor, Harvard Law School "Spedale and Eskridge illuminate with remarkable even-handedness a debate that tends to generate more heat than light. They provide a cogent analysis of conservative arguments that same-sex matrimony threatens conventional marriage, and argue persuasively that enabling same-sex partners to marry may actually strengthen that beleaguered institution."--John Podesta, President and CEO, Center for American Progress "An important and timely contribution. It should be required reading for anyone interested in the future of families in America."--Martha Albertson Fineman, Robert W. Woodruff Professor, Emory Law School
Product Details

About the Author

Darren R. Spedale is an investment banker in New York City. He spent two years on a Fulbright Fellowship in Denmark researching Scandinavian same-sex partnerships. He received his J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from Stanford University, and continues his work on same-sex marriage through his pro bono activities. William N. Eskridge, Jr. is the John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at the Yale Law School. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including The Case for Same-Sex Marriage, Dynamic Statutory Interpretation, and Gaylaw: Challenging the Apartheid of the Closet.

Reviews

"A treasure trove of statistics, laws, and sources, useful for any social science student...Anyone hoping to be an educated commentator or student of same-sex marriage in Europe or America should read Gay Marriage. In particular, political science students would find it useful for detailed discussions of how interest groups interact to promote or resist social change in other nations. Students in sociology and gay studies classes would find the cross-cultural discussion quite helpful."--Journal of the History of Sexuality"For a long time, we've needed a good scholarly account of the effects of same-sex marriage on marriage and society as a whole. Now we have it. This eye-opening book is a must-read for anyone interested in the continuing debate over same-sex marriage."--Andrew Sullivan, author of Virtually Normal"Whatever your views are now on same-sex marriage, this is the book to read to be informed about why same sex couples want legal recognition and what legal union means to them and to the larger community. Eskridge and Spedale give detailed accounts of the effects of registered partnerships in Scandinavia--and along the way, offer fascinating and engaging pictures of many people's lives. Fundamentally, this book raises the bar and now no responsible discussion can proceed without addressing actual evidence from the countries with long experience giving same-sex relationships legal recognition."--Martha Minow, Jeremiah Smith Jr. Professor, Harvard Law School"Eskridge and Spedale illuminate with remarkable even-handedness a debate that tends to generate more heat than light. They provide a cogent analysis of conservative arguments that same-sex matrimony threatens conventional marriage, and argue persuasively that enabling same-sex partners to marry may actually strengthen that beleaguered institution."--John Podesta, former White House Chief of Staff, currently President and CEO, Center for American Progress"Eskridge and Spedale have given us an important and timely contribution to the debates about same-sex marriage. This book convincingly shows why the best policy (and the best politics) would be to support individuals and the families they form, however those families are constituted. It should be required reading for anyone interested in the future of families in America."--Martha Albertson Fineman, Robert W. Woodruff Professor, Emory Law School "A treasure trove of statistics, laws, and sources, useful for any social science student...Anyone hoping to be an educated commentator or student of same-sex marriage in Europe or America should read Gay Marriage. In particular, political science students would find it useful for detailed discussions of how interest groups interact to promote or resist social change in other nations. Students in sociology and gay studies classes would find the cross-cultural discussion quite helpful."--Journal of the History of Sexuality"For a long time, we've needed a good scholarly account of the effects of same-sex marriage on marriage and society as a whole. Now we have it. This eye-opening book is a must-read for anyone interested in the continuing debate over same-sex marriage."--Andrew Sullivan, author of Virtually Normal"Whatever your views are now on same-sex marriage, this is the book to read to be informed about why same sex couples want legal recognition and what legal union means to them and to the larger community. Eskridge and Spedale give detailed accounts of the effects of registered partnerships in Scandinavia--and along the way, offer fascinating and engaging pictures of many people's lives. Fundamentally, this book raises the bar and now no responsible discussion can proceed without addressing actual evidence from the countries with long experience giving same-sex relationships legal recognition."--Martha Minow, Jeremiah Smith Jr. Professor, Harvard Law School"Eskridge and Spedale illuminate with remarkable even-handedness a debate that tends to generate more heat than light. They provide a cogent analysis of conservative arguments that same-sex matrimony threatens conventional marriage, and argue persuasively that enabling same-sex partners to marry may actually strengthen that beleaguered institution."--John Podesta, former White House Chief of Staff, currently President and CEO, Center for American Progress"Eskridge and Spedale have given us an important and timely contribution to the debates about same-sex marriage. This book convincingly shows why the best policy (and the best politics) would be to support individuals and the families they form, however those families are constituted. It should be required reading for anyone interested in the future of families in America."--Martha Albertson Fineman, Robert W. Woodruff Professor, Emory Law School "For a long time, we've needed a good scholarly account of the effects of same-sex marriage on marriage and society as a whole. Now we have it. This eye-opening book is a must-read for anyone interested in the continuing debate over same-sex marriage."--Andrew Sullivan, author of VirtuallyNormal"Whatever your views are now on same-sex marriage, this is the book to read to be informed about why same sex couples want legal recognition and what legal union means to them and to the larger community. Eskridge and Spedale give detailed accounts of the effects of registered partnerships in Scandinavia--and along the way, offer fascinating and engaging pictures of many people's lives. Fundamentally, this book raises the bar and now no responsible discussion can proceed without addressing actual evidence from the countries with long experience giving same-sex relationships legal recognition."--Martha Minow, Jeremiah Smith Jr. Professor, Harvard Law School"Eskridge and Spedale illuminate with remarkable even-handedness a debate that tends to generate more heat than light. They provide a cogent analysis of conservative arguments that same-sex matrimony threatens conventional marriage, and argue persuasively that enabling same-sex partners to marry may actually strengthen that beleaguered institution."--John Podesta, former White House Chief of Staff, currently President and CEO, Center for American Progress"Eskridge and Spedale have given us an important and timely contribution to the debates about same-sex marriage. This book convincingly shows why the best policy (and the best politics) would be to support individuals and the families they form, however those families are constituted. It should be required reading for anyone interested in the future of families in America."--Martha Albertson Fineman, Robert W. Woodruff Professor, Emory Law School "For a long time, we've needed a good scholarly account of the effects of same-sex marriage on marriage and society as a whole. Now we have it. This eye-opening book is a must-read for anyone interested in the continuing debate over same-sex marriage."--Andrew Sullivan, author of Virtually Normal "Whatever your views are now on same-sex marriage, this is the book to read to be informed about why same sex couples want legal recognition and what legal union means to them and to the larger community. Eskridge and Spedale give detailed accounts of the effects of registered partnerships in Scandinavia--and along the way, offer fascinating and engaging pictures of many people's lives. Fundamentally, this book raises the bar and now no responsible discussion can proceed without addressing actual evidence from the countries with long experience giving same-sex relationships legal recognition."--Martha Minow, Jeremiah Smith Jr. Professor, Harvard Law School "Eskridge and Spedale illuminate with remarkable even-handedness a debate that tends to generate more heat than light. They provide a cogent analysis of conservative arguments that same-sex matrimony threatens conventional marriage, and argue persuasively that enabling same-sex partners to marry may actually strengthen that beleaguered institution."--John Podesta, former White House Chief of Staff, currently President and CEO, Center for American Progress "Eskridge and Spedale have given us an important and timely contribution to the debates about same-sex marriage. This book convincingly shows why the best policy (and the best politics) would be to support individuals and the families they form, however those families areconstituted. It should be required reading for anyone interested in the future of families in America."--Martha Albertson Fineman, Robert W. Woodruff Professor, Emory Law School "For a long time, we've needed a good scholarly account of the effects of same-sex marriage on marriage and society as a whole. Now we have it. This eye-opening book is a must-read for anyone interested in the continuing debate over same-sex marriage."--Andrew Sullivan, author of Virtually Normal "Whatever your views are now on same-sex marriage, this is the book to read to be informed about why same sex couples want legal recognition and what legal union means to them and to the larger community. Eskridge and Spedale give detailed accounts of the effects of registered partnerships in Scandinavia--and along the way, offer fascinating and engaging pictures of many people's lives. Fundamentally, this book raises the bar and now no responsible discussion can proceed without addressing actual evidence from the countries with long experience giving same-sex relationships legal recognition."--Martha Minow, Jeremiah Smith Jr. Professor, Harvard Law School "Eskridge and Spedale illuminate with remarkable even-handedness a debate that tends to generate more heat than light. They provide a cogent analysis of conservative arguments that same-sex matrimony threatens conventional marriage, and argue persuasively that enabling same-sex partners to marry may actually strengthen that beleaguered institution."--John Podesta, former White House Chief of Staff, currently President and CEO, Center for American Progress "Eskridge and Spedale have given us an important and timely contribution to the debates about same-sex marriage. This book convincingly shows why the best policy (and the best politics) would be to support individuals and thefamilies they form, however those families are constituted. It should be required reading for anyone interested in the future of families in America."--Martha Albertson Fineman, Robert W. Woodruff Professor, Emory Law School "For a long time, we've needed a good scholarly account of the effects of same-sex marriage on marriage and society as a whole. Now we have it. This eye-opening book is a must-read for anyone interested in the continuing debate over same-sex marriage."--Andrew Sullivan, author of Virtually Normal"Whatever your views are now on same-sex marriage, this is the book to read to be informed about why same sex couples want legal recognition and what legal union means to them and to the larger community. Eskridge and Spedale give detailed accounts of the effects of registered partnerships inScandinavia--and along the way, offer fascinating and engaging pictures of many people's lives. Fundamentally, this book raises the bar and now no responsible discussion can proceed without addressing actual evidence from the countries with long experience giving same-sex relationships legalrecognition."--Martha Minow, Jeremiah Smith Jr. Professor, Harvard Law School"Eskridge and Spedale illuminate with remarkable even-handedness a debate that tends to generate more heat than light. They provide a cogent analysis of conservative arguments that same-sex matrimony threatens conventional marriage, and argue persuasively that enabling same-sex partners to marry mayactually strengthen that beleaguered institution."--John Podesta, former White House Chief of Staff, currently President and CEO, Center for American Progress"Eskridge and Spedale have given us an important and timely contribution to the debates about same-sex marriage. This book convincingly shows why the best policy (and the best politics) would be to support individuals and the families they form, however those familiesare constituted. It should berequired reading for anyone interested in the future of families in America."--Martha Albertson Fineman, Robert W. Woodruff Professor, Emory Law School

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