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Gay Marriage

Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America

Jonathan Rauch

Holt Paperbacks

"Thoughtful and convincingly argued . . . Rauch's impressive book is as enthusiastic an encomium to marriage as anyone, gay or straight, could write."
David J. Garrow, The Washington Post Book World

In May 2004, gay marriage became legal in Massachusetts, but it remains a divisive and contentious issue across America. As liberals and conservatives mobilize around this issue, no one has come forward with a more compelling, comprehensive, and readable case for gay marriage than Jonathan Rauch. In this book, he puts forward a clear and honest manifesto explaining why gay marriage is important—even crucial—to the health of marriage in America today, grounding his argument in commonsense, mainstream values and confronting social conservatives on their own turf. Marriage, he observes, is more than a bond between individuals; it also links them to the community at large. Excluding some people from the prospect of marriage not only is harmful to them but also is corrosive of the institution itself.

Gay marriage, he shows, is a "win-win-win" for strengthening the bonds that tie us together and for remaining true to our national heritage of fairness and humaneness toward all.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Gay Marriage
1What Is Marriage For?When I was six years old, I went with my family from Phoenix, where I was born and raised, to visit New York. I remember only a little about that trip, apart from a visit to the Statue of Liberty, but seeing Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway remains vivid. It was my first play and a great play to boot, and Tevye's dream frightened me half to death, but another, more tender scene also stayed with me.Tevye is a poor milkman in a Jewish shtetl (village) in czarist Russia. Life there is hardscrabble and traditional, and he is at first scandalized and then grudgingly
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REVIEWS

Praise for Gay Marriage

"Cool, articulate, poignant . . . This is a powerful book, clear, tolerant and persuasive . . . Mr. Rauch's book should become obligatory reading for all." —The Economist

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Jonathan Rauch

  • Jonathan Rauch is a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, a senior writer and columnist for National Journal, and a writer in residence at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of several books on public policy, culture, and economics, including Government's End: Why Washington Stopped Working. His work has appeared in The New Republic, The Economist, Harper's, Fortune, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Slate, among other publications. He is vice president of the Independent Gay Forum and lives near Washington, D.C.

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Gay Marriage

Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America

Jonathan Rauch

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