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The Politics of Same-Sex Marriage

Same-sex marriage emerged in 2004 as one of the hottest issues of the campaign season. But in a severe blow to gay rights advocates, all eleven states that had the issue on the ballot passed amendments banning the practice, and the subject soon dropped off the media’s radar. This pattern of waxing and waning in the public eye has characterized the debate over same-sex marriage since 1996 and the passing of the Defense of Marriage Act. Since then, court rulings and local legislatures have kept the issue alive in the political sphere, and conservatives and gay rights advocates have made the issue a key battlefield in the culture wars.

The Politics of Same-Sex Marriage brings together an esteemed list of scholars to explore all facets of this heated issue, including the ideologies and strategies on both sides of the argument, the public’s response, the use of the issue in political campaigns, and how same-sex marriage fits into the broad context of policy cycles and windows of political opportunity. With comprehensive coverage from a variety of different approaches, this volume will be a vital sourcebook for activists, politicians, and scholars alike.

368 pages | 7 line drawings, 4 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2007

Gay and Lesbian Studies

Law and Legal Studies: Law and Society

Political Science: American Government and Politics

Sociology: Social Change, Social Movements, Political Sociology


"This original and wide-ranging volume collects all of the current mainstream scholarship by some of the finest minds in political science on the topic of same-sex marriage. Its broad scope and emphasis on public opinion and political processes should appeal to scholars of various disciplines interested in the issue of same-sex marriage and American politics."

Kenneth Sherrill, Hunter College, City University of New York

"Exhibiting the true interdisciplinarity necessary to fully understand this complex issue, the authors draw upon a wide array of methodologies--historical, psychological, legal, sociological, and theological, as well as more traditional political science methodologies. . . . When it comes to the history of efforts to gain same-sex marriage and the countermovement against it, this collection serves as a crucial addition to collections for use by students and scholars. . . . Highly recommended."


Table of Contents

Clyde Wilcox 
Introduction: The Politics of Same-Sex Marriage
Mark Carl Rom 
Will the Courts Set Us Free? Reflections on the Campaign for Same-Sex Marriage
John D’Emilio  
The Consequences of Marriage Policy for Same-Sex Couples’ Well-Being
Ellen D. B. Riggle and Sharon S. Rostosky  
Same-Sex Marriage, GLBT Organizations, and the Lack of Spirited Political Engagement
Ronald G. Shaiko  
Theological Perspectives on Gay Unions: The Uneasy Marriage of Religion and Politics
Kenneth D. Wald and Graham B. Glover  
Religious Coalitions for and against Gay Marriage: The Culture War Rages On
David E. Campbell and Carin Robinson  
The Anti–Gay Marriage Movement
Sean Cahill  
Framing the Issue of Same-Sex Marriage: Traditional Values versus Equal Rights
Barry L. Tadlock, C. Ann Gordon, and Elizabeth Popp  
If I Bend This far I Will Break? Public Opinion about Same-Sex Marriage
Clyde Wilcox, Paul R. Brewer, Shauna Shames, and Celinda Lake  
Same-Sex Marriage in the 24 Election
DeWayne L. Lucas  
The Presidency, Congress, and Same-Sex Marriage
Craig A. Rimmerman  
’Til Death—or the Supreme Court—Do Us Part: Litigating Gay Marriage
Karen O’Connor and Alixandra B. Yanus  
The Politics of Same-Sex Marriage versus the Politics of Gay Civil Rights: A Comparison of Public Opinion and State Voting Patterns
Katie Lofton and Donald P. Haider-Markel  
The United States in Comparative Context
David Rayside  
List of Contributors  

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