On May 17, 2004, Massachusetts began performing marriages of same-sex couples. That state’s Supreme Judicial Court had ruled in Goodridge v. Massachusetts Department of Public Health that “barring an individual from the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage solely because that person would marry a person of the same sex violates the Massachusetts Constitution.” Fearing that courts in other states would follow suit, President George W. Bush called for a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. More than a decade ago, the Hawaii Supreme Court came to a decision similar to Goodridge in Baehr v. Lewin, which prompted the passage of the Defense of Marriage Act.
The issue of same-sex marriage has attracted the attention of the nation and has become one of the most heated social controversies. This completely revised and updated second edition of Same-Sex Marriage presents a balanced selection of the latest, the most diverse, and the most clearly argued positions advocated by academics, politicians, journalists, attorneys, judges, and activists. Divided into three sections, the first section covers the Massachusetts decision and reactions to it. Section 2 explores the emotional dimensions of the debate. Section 3 examines the philosophical arguments for and against officially sanctioning same-sex marriage.