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Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  103 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Why Marriage Matters offers a compelling and clear discussion of a question at the forefront of our national consciousness. It is the work of a brilliant civil rights litigator who has dedicated his life to the protection of individuals' rights and our Constitution's commitment to equal justice under the law. Above all, it is a thoughtful, straightforward book that brings ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published November 1st 2007 by Simon & Schuster (first published July 27th 2004)
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This is a decent summary of the case for marriage equality. Wolfson argues persuasively that if we accept the legal and moral arguments that have led us to no-fault divorce, marriage rights for prisoners, rights for women, and the right to privacy when determining our sexual conduct, then marriage equality makes sense and marriage discrimination does not make sense. His case would have been strengthened, however, if he had a single argument for his conception of marriage as primarily a romantic/ ...more
I skimmed this book in a few hours. Agree with every word, but it clearly wasn't written for me. If I had the money, I would helicopter-drop this book into the Central Valley, or, even better, march into the public schools in all Californian cities outside San Francisco and push this as the homosexual agenda du jour. If I was teaching in the public schools outside SF, I think I'd risk a reprise of the Briggs Initiative and make this mandatory reading. It lays it all out pretty well. However, I d ...more
Mar 01, 2011 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Overall, I found this book to be compelling. His tone and use of language are effecting in making his case; I would imagine that this book could easily turn someone who is for marriage equality, though not at all invested in the issue, into an activist. Mr. Wolfson manages to take a hot topic, normally dripping with thickly-piled-on cliches, value judgments, false morals, and doom-saying, and distill out a cohesive legal and civil rights argument in favor of marriage equality. Neither his writin ...more
Feb 22, 2009 Allison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is extraordinary! The author's stance is that the movement towards marriage for gays and lesbians is no different than the civil rights movement of the 50's and 60's. He illustrates his point with timeless quotes, personal stories from real people, historical court cases and simple answers to the complex questions our nation is asking about marriage and homosexuality. It is a very helpful book for anyone who needs to talk to others about gay civil rights. I feel ready to debate this su ...more
Jun 02, 2011 Marvin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book to use as a resource when countering common arguments used by gay rights opponents. Arguments that are predominantly based on selective biblical interpretations. Evan Wolfson demonstrates himself to be an expert on these issues by addressing them head-on and leaving numerous references to back up his points. If one could get these bigots to pick up this book and read, which no doubt would be a daunting task, they would quickly find their opposition bereft of commonsense ...more
May 29, 2012 Jess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, clearly written argument for marriage equality. It's a few years old, so it doesn't reflect recent advances, such as the legalization of same-sex marriages in NY State (and hopefully MD and WA) and the repeal of DADT, but the core arguments remain the same. It's an ideal book for someone who is on the fence, but wants to understand why marriage equality is so important to so many people.
Kim Stallwood
Sep 24, 2016 Kim Stallwood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book. Recommend it to students of social movements. Interesting to read as it was published in 2004 before the US legalised same-sex marriage in 2015 with a ruling from the Supreme Court. So, in that sense, it's reading an account of a social movement in the middle of its struggle written with the prospect of knowing how it may play out.
May 21, 2010 Paradasia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Made me cry by the end, great summary of the debate and facts surrounding the issue of freedom to marry. The intro bothered me a bit, definitely has a bias but seems well cited and has a ton of great quotes.
Oct 21, 2008 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's no good reason not to support civil marriage equality. Wolfson presents a great deal of helpful information on engaging in dialogue with people who may not yet understand the need for justice as it relates to the issue of marriage.
Mar 25, 2013 José rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wolfson draws from social, psychological, political, legal, and civil rights perspectives to argue a potent and convincing case for marriage equality. Highly recommended for those interested in one of the most important civil rights issues of our time.
Valerie Sherman
Jan 18, 2009 Valerie Sherman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who is against gay marriage should read this book. Keeping yourself misinformed about marriage rights for same-sex couples is not going to stop it from happening.

Anyone who is for same-sex marriage rights should read this book to arm yourself against those who are against.
Jul 14, 2008 Jacqueline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
Wolfson's book is an educational experience for anyone that wants to know why equal marraige rights are so important.
Cam White
May 26, 2012 Cam White rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Concise, simple, but elegant arguments for the need for marriage equality in this country. Awesome read.
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