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Original Essays | April 11, 2014

Paul Laudiero: IMG Shit Rough Draft

I was sitting in a British and Irish romantic drama class my last semester in college when the idea for Shit Rough Drafts hit me. I was working... Continue »
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Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America


Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America Cover




From Gay Marriage:

Gay marriage is at bottom not so much a civil rights issue as a civil responsibility issue. If the first "homosexual agenda" focused on gay rights—the right to have sex, the right to walk the streets in safety, the right to keep a job—the second focuses on gay responsibilities: marriage, military service, the rearing and mentoring of the young. If the rights agenda asked for protections, the responsibility agenda asks for obligations. Could that be why it arouses such fierce resistance? Oddly—I'd never have guessed—the responsibility agenda seems to meet stiffer resistance from much of straight America than the rights agenda ever did. At bottom hardly anyone wants to see homosexuals harassed, but treating them as grown-ups seems harder to accept.

America has taken mighty strides to end homosexual victimhood, a fact for which I will always be grateful. What remains is to close the gap between victimhood and adulthood.

Product Details

Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America
Rauch, Jonathan
Holt Paperbacks
New York
United states
Sociology - Marriage & Family
Civil Rights
Gay Studies
Lesbian Studies
Same-sex marriage
General Current Events
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:

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Related Subjects

Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Gay Studies
History and Social Science » Sociology » Children and Family

Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
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Product details 224 pages Times Books - English 9780805076332 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this highly readable but rarely innovative polemic, Atlantic Monthly correspondent and National Journal columnist Rauch argues that the great civilizing institution' would inevitably ennoble gay relationships; providing access to marriage would give them access to 'a better kind of love.' Such sallies will leave some readers wondering whether 'better,' for Rauch, really means 'straight'; 'If I could have designed myself in the womb,' writes Rauch (who is openly gay) elsewhere, 'I would have chosen to be heterosexual.' Reporting such fantasies may win Rauch points for honesty, but they don't do much for his argument, other than to allow straights who support equal rights but are uneasy with homosexuality itself to identify with his position more easily. Such mixed signals make for a decidedly mixed bag. (Apr. 7)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[Rauch's] discussion is enough to reassure anyone not already dug in against gay marriage. Even more important, it puts on display his arguing style, an appealing combination of prosecutorial logic and gentlemanly forbearance. Rauch strains to find merit even in the positions of intemperate talk-show hosts. He neither twists words nor tweaks statistics. He takes pains not to leave angles unexamined."
"Review" by , "Rauch's impressive book is as enthusiastic an encomium to marriage as anyone, gay or straight, could write."
"Review" by , "Maybe the news is saturated with the gay-marriage question, but more notice ought to be paid to this extraordinary book. Rauch takes on not the grand constitutional theories of same-sex unions but the practicalities: how will the daily life of communities be affected, will people be happier? He argues convincingly that not only will gay men and lesbians be happier with same-sex marriage granted legal status, practically everybody else will be happier, too. Rauch's conception that society as a whole will be served by gay marriage is the missing piece of the puzzle, a utilitarian argument that there's something in this issue for the heterosexual mainstream too — a more harmonious social sphere. Gay Marriage is an excellent, urgent book."
"Synopsis" by ,
"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.

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