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Civil Wars: A Battle for Gay Marriage
Synopses & Reviews
In 2000 Vermont became the first state to grant gay and lesbian couples the right to join in civil unions — a groundbreaking decision that has inspired similar legislation in six states thus far. But it was not an easy victory; the ruling sparked the fiercest political conflict in the state's memory. David Moats was in the thick of it, writing a series of balanced, humane editorials that earned a Pulitzer Prize. Now he tells the intimate stories behind the battle and introduces us to all the key actors in the struggle, including the couples who first filed suit; the lawyers who spent years championing the case; and the only openly gay legislator in Vermont, who ensured victory with an impassioned, deeply personal speech on the House floor at a crucial moment.
Civil Wars is a remarkable drama of democracy at work on a human scale.
"[A] gripping piece of journalistic history....Moats's account emerges as essential reading for Americans on both sides of the partisan aisle." Publishers Weekly
"A heartening book, and tonic for these politically polarized times." The New York Times
"Moats has...written a clear and fair-minded account of what may be the most important domestic social issue facing 21st-century America." Library Journal
"A fascinating book." The Desert News
Book News Annotation:
Moats, journalist and editor of the Rutland Herald (Vermont), writes a humane, deeply felt account of the story of three same-sex couples whose request for marriage licenses in their small Vermont towns eventually led all the way to the state Supreme Court and ignited some of the fiercest legal, political, social, and cultural struggle the state had seen.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In the years since Vermont became the first state to legalize civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, the issue has grown from an item for state legislature agendas to one for national debate. But David Moats tells the intimate story behind the larger public battle. In an account of unstoppable narrative power, he introduces the couples who filed the suit; the lawyers who spent years championing the case; and the one openly gay legislator in Vermont who ensured victory with an impassioned, deeply personal speech delivered to the House at a crucial moment. And in a new afterword, Moats brings the story fully up to date by detailing the latest developments in the gay-marriage debate.
Civil Wars is a remarkable drama of democracy at work on a human scale-and a critical guidebook for anyone interested in the struggle yet to come.
About the Author
David Moats is the editorial-page editor at the Rutland Herald, where he won that paper's first Pulitzer Prize for his series of editorials in support of same-sex unions in Vermont. He is also a playwright who has authored a dozen plays. He lives in Middlebury, Vermont.
Table of Contents
Our Common Humanity
A Lover's Quarrel
What is the Harm?
What Our Readers Are Saying