[]
[]

From the Closet to the Altar

Courts, Backlash, and the Struggle for Same-sex Marriage
Klarman, Michael J. (Book - 2013 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
From the Closet to the Altar
Print

Item Details

"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"-- Provided by publisher. "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"-- Provided by publisher.
Authors: Klarman, Michael J.
Title: From the closet to the altar
courts, backlash, and the struggle for same-sex marriage
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, c2013
Characteristics: xii, 276 p. :,ill ;,25 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Michael J. Klarman
Contents: World War II to Stonewall (1950s and 1960s)
Stonewall to Bowers (1970s and 1980s)
Hawaii and the "Defense of Marriage" (1990s)
Baker (Vermont) and Lawrence (1999-2003)
Goodridge (Massachusetts) and its backlash (2003-2008)
The gay marriage Spring (2009)
Backlash (Again) : Maine and Iowa (2009-2010)
To the present
Why backlash? Part 1 : Courts and public opinion
Why backlash? Part 2 : Politics and federalism
Looking to the future : the inevitability of gay marriage
Summary: "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"-- Provided by publisher.
"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"-- Provided by publisher.
ISBN: 0199922101
9780199922109
Branch Call Number: 346.730168 K634f 2013
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references and index
Subject Headings: Civil unions Law and legislation United States Same-sex marriage Law and legislation United States States Gay couples Legal status, laws, etc. United States History Same-sex marriage Law and legislation United States History
Topical Term: Civil unions
Same-sex marriage
Gay couples
Same-sex marriage
LCCN: 2012023121
MARC Display»

Opinion

From Library Staff

Looks at the history of gay marriage and examines the issues the Supreme Court examined when making its decision.

Looks at the history of gay marriage and examines the issues the Supreme Court will look at when making their decision.


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Videos

Add a Video

There are no videos for this title yet.

Find it at MCL

  Loading...

Powered by BiblioCommons.
app07 Version tobio (tobio) Last updated 2014/09/24 13:12