The limits to union : same-sex marriage and the politics of civil rights /
Jonathan Goldberg-Hiller.
Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c2002.
x, 290 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
0472112236 (cloth : acid-free paper)
More Details
Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c2002.
0472112236 (cloth : acid-free paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 265-283) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2002-11-01:
In September 1996, President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which easily passed both houses of Congress and was introduced in the House in reaction to a court case in Hawaii that might have recognized same-sex marriage there. The Constitution's full faith and credit clause (Article IV) requires that states generally recognize the laws of other states. If Hawaii recognized same-sex marriages, all 49 other states would recognize those unions. DOMA permits states to make laws concerning marriage, but defines marriage for federal purposes as a union between a man and a woman and a spouse as a person of the opposite sex, and allows states the right not to recognize the marriage laws of other states. Goldberg-Hiller (political science, Univ. of Hawaii) presents the history of the same-sex marriage question since it first sparked debate in Hawaii. He follows the shifting debate through court cases, state propositions, and state and federal legislatures, considering questions about the constitutionality of DOMA and the concept of equal protection under the law for gays and lesbians. Although lawmakers in Hawaii and Alaska ultimately rejected same-sex marriages as legal unions recognized by their states, in Vermont same-sex marriages have been recognized as "civil unions." This detailed treatment of the legal issues surrounding same-sex marriages is highly recommended for college and university libraries at all levels. R. L. Abbott University of Evansville
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 2002
Choice, November 2003
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Unpaid Annotation
From its legal recognition in Hawaii in 1993, the idea and possibility of same-sex marriage has been a fuse that has ignited political controversy across the United States to the world. This controversy sets forces championing the expansion of court-ordered rights against conservative and religious partisans who no longer accept the rationale for expanding civil rights. "The Limits to Union explores this incendiary debate and explains the political discourses and tactics that overturn decisions of state courts favorably inclined toward same-sex marriage and gay rights. The opposition of public majorities to court-mandated rights is shown to be an enduring yet postmodern manifestation of political sovereignty, one with broad implications for how we must now come to think about civil rights.Building on developments in postmodern, postcolonial, and queer legal theory, Jonathan Goldberg-Hiller argues that the controversy over legal rights for same-sex marriages has exploded onto the American stage in response to deep-seated anxieties over the fragmented nature of community, changing social hierarchies, and economic and national security in the face of globalization. He shows that the legal fate of the same-sex marriage is more than an issue of the social and political acceptance of lesbians and gays as it rapidly becomes a central site for re-imagining the contours of political sovereignty.This book will appeal to advanced undergraduate and graduate students in sociolegal studies, political science, sociology, and gay and lesbian studies.Jonathan Goldberg-Hiller is Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Hawaii.
Table of Contents
A Trip to the "Alter"p. 1
Sovereign Rites, Civil Rightsp. 45
The Status of Statusp. 77
Laboring for Rightsp. 115
Hawaiian Wedding Songp. 147
Global Wedding Bellsp. 181
Conclusion - the Mourning Afterp. 221
Notesp. 237
Bibliographyp. 265
Indexp. 285
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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