The Roundtable
11:35 am
Mon October 22, 2012

From the Closet to the Altar by Michael Klarman

Bancroft Prize-winning historian and legal expert Michael Klarman joins us this morning to discuss his account of modern litigation over same-sex marriage.

After looking at the treatment of gays in the decades after World War II and the birth of the modern gay rights movement with the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969, Klarman describes the key legal cases involving gay marriage and the dramatic political backlashes they ignited.

Klarman also notes several ways in which litigation has accelerated the coming of same-sex marriage: forcing people to discuss the issue, raising the hopes and expectations of gay activists, and making other reforms like civil unions seem more moderate by comparison.

In the end, Klarman discusses how gay marriage is likely to evolve in the future, predicts how the U.S. Supreme Court might ultimately resolve the issue, and assesses the costs and benefits of activists' pursuing social reforms such as gay marriage through the courts.

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