From the closet to the altar: courts, backlash, and the struggle for same-sex marriage

Book Cover
Average Rating
Publisher:
Oxford University Press,
Pub. Date:
2013.
Language:
English
Description
Same-sex marriage has become one of the most volatile issues in American politics. But if most young people support gay marriage, and if there are clear indicators that a substantial majority of the population will soon favor it, why has the outcry against it been so strong?Bancroft Prize-winning historian and legal expert Michael Klarman here offers an illuminating and engaging account of modern litigation over same-sex marriage. After looking at the treatment of gays in the decades after World War II and the birth of the modern gay rights movement with the StonewallRebellion in 1969, Klarman describes the key legal cases involving gay marriage and the dramatic political backlashes they ignited. He examines the Hawaii Supreme Court's ruling in 1993, which sparked a vast political backlash - with more than 35 states and Congress enacting defense-of-marriage acts- and the Massachusetts decision in Goodridge in 2003, which inspired more than 25 states to adopt constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. Klarman traces this same pattern - court victory followed by dramatic backlash - through cases in Vermont, California, and Iowa, taking the story right up tothe present.He also describes some of the collateral political damage caused by court decisions in favor of gay marriage - Iowa judges losing their jobs, Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle losing his seat, and the possibly dispositive impact of gay marriage on the 2004 presidential election. But Klarman alsonotes several ways in which litigation has accelerated the coming of same-sex marriage: forcing people to discuss the issue, raising the hopes and expectations of gay activists, and making other reforms like civil unions seem more moderate by comparison. In the end, Klarman discusses how gaymarriage is likely to evolve in the future, predicts how the U.S. Supreme Court might ultimately resolve the issue, and assesses the costs and benefits of activists' pursuing social reforms such as gay marriage through the courts.From the Closet to the Altar will stand as the definitive one-volume history of the tumultuous emergence of same-sex marriage in American life as well as a landmark study of litigation, social reform, and the phenomenon of political backlash to court decisions.
Also in This Series
More Like This
More Details
ISBN:
9780199922109
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Tagging
Tags:
No Tags, Be the first to tag this record!
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID c5790414-6fde-43d1-c011-80af63d1728d
Grouping Title from the closet to the altar courts backlash and the struggle for same sex marriage
Grouping Author klarman michael j
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-02-11 00:36:19AM
Last Indexed 2019-03-23 01:45:24AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_interest_level
accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Klarman, Michael J.
author_display Klarman, Michael J
available_at_kentdenver Kent Denver Upper School
detailed_location_kentdenver Kent Denver Upper School - Nonfiction
display_description "Same-sex marriage, a politically and culturally untenable idea only a quarter century ago, has become one of the most controversial issues in American life. Social conservatives are adamantly opposed to it and vote-conscious liberal politicians tiptoe around it, but an emerging majority's support for it makes it seem all but inevitable. While most observers seem to think that the legalization of gay marriage across the nation will occur at some point in the near future, in the meantime it continues to generate a sharp political backlash that has helped its opponents score political victories (even if they prove to be short-lived). If most young people support gay marriage, and if there are clear indicators that a majority of the population will support it in the very near future, why is the backlash so strong? As Michael Klarman will show in From the Closet to the Altar, it is because its proponents have adopted a court-centered approach for advancing their cause. In many states, advocates have taken to the courts and argued that bans on gay marriage are denials of civil rights. They have followed the path of earlier civil rights advocates, who also chose the court rather than the political arena as a forum to decide issues. But as Klarman shows, this tactic comes with clear costs. Using the courts to leapfrog public opinion can actually set a cause back because court decisions generate backlashes. Usually, judges are neither elected nor beholden to public opinion, and they are easily pegged as unaccountable elites by opponents. Klarman, who has examined virtually every state-level judicial decision and all of the legislative attempts to overturn same-sex marriage, contends that the movement has in many respects not only hurt its own cause by generating populist backlash, but has created a countervailing social movement that works against progressive causes on a host of other issues. Given the irreversible tectonic shift in public opinion regarding the issue, he argues that it will occur anyway. By providing such fuel to its opponents (much like with Roe v. Wade), the movement is in danger of creating a powerful countermovement that will use the issue for proponents of gay rights for years to come. Concise yet sweeping in scope, From the Closet to the Altar is not only a worthy successor to his Bancroft Prize-winning From Jim Crow to Civil Rights, it will reshape how we think about the issue"-- "Bancroft Prize-winning historian and legal expert Michael Klarman here offers an illuminating and engaging account of modern litigation over same-sex marriage. After looking at the treatment of gays in the decades after World War II and the birth of the modern gay rights movement with the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969, Klarman describes the key legal cases involving gay marriage and the dramatic political backlashes they ignited. He examines the Hawaii Supreme Court's ruling in 1993, which sparked a vast political backlash--with more than 35 states and Congress enacting defense-of-marriage acts--and the Massachusetts decision in Goodridge in 2003, which inspired more than 25 states to adopt constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. Klarman traces this same pattern--court victory followed by dramatic backlash--through cases in Vermont, California, and Iowa, taking the story right up to the present. He also describes some of the collateral political damage caused by court decisions in favor of gay marriage--Iowa judges losing their jobs, Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle losing his seat, and the possibly dispositive impact of gay marriage on the 2004 presidential election. But Klarman also notes several ways in which litigation has accelerated the coming of same-sex marriage: forcing people to discuss the issue, raising the hopes and expectations of gay activists, and making other reforms like civil unions seem more moderate by comparison. In the end, Klarman discusses how gay marriage is likely to evolve in the future, predicts how the U.S. Supreme Court might ultimately resolve the issue, and assesses the costs and benefits of activists' pursuing social reforms such as gay marriage through the courts"--
format_category_kentdenver Books
format_kentdenver Book
id c5790414-6fde-43d1-c011-80af63d1728d
isbn 9780199922109
item_details ils:193387|455369|Kent Denver Upper School - Nonfiction|306.2 Kla|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf||KENT||
itype_kentdenver Book
last_indexed 2019-03-23T07:45:24.199Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_kentdenver 306.2 Kla
owning_library_kentdenver Kent Denver School
owning_location_kentdenver Kent Denver Upper School
primary_isbn 9780199922109
publishDate 2013
record_details ils:193387|Book|Books||English|Oxford University Press,|2013.|xii, 276 p. ill. 25 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
scoping_details_kentdenver
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:193387 455369 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true
subject_facet Civil unions -- Law and legislation -- United States, Gay couples -- Legal status, laws, etc -- United States -- History, LAW / Civil Rights, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Policy, Same-sex marriage -- Law and legislation -- United States -- History, Same-sex marriage -- Law and legislation -- United States -- States
title_display From the closet to the altar courts, backlash, and the struggle for same-sex marriage
title_full From the closet to the altar courts, backlash, and the struggle for same-sex marriage Michael J. Klarman
title_short From the closet to the altar
title_sub courts, backlash, and the struggle for same-sex marriage
topic_facet Civil unions, Gay couples, History, LAW / Civil Rights, Law and legislation, Legal status, laws, etc, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Policy, Same-sex marriage, States