A critical reader of the history of marriage understands that it is an institution that has always been in flux. It is also a decidedly complicated one, existing simultaneously in the realms of religion, law, and emotion. And yet recent years have seen dramatic and heavily waged battles over the proposition of including same sex couples in marriage. Just what is at stake in these battles?
License to Wed: What Legal Marriage Means to Same-Sex Couples by Kimberly D. Richman examines the meanings of marriage for couples in the two first states to extend that right to same sex couples: California and Massachusetts.
Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity, Andrew Solomon’s book on parents, children and the bond between them and the cases of extreme difference - was published to ecstatic acclaim last year - landing on best-seller lists across the country, and "Best of" lists from The New York Times, Amazon, The Economist and more.
The book has now been released in paperback. Solomon opens Far From the Tree with an autobiographical chapter detailing his experience as a gay son of heterosexual parents. At the time of his youth, homosexuality was considered an illness and a crime. The book is about the struggle for those who are different and their need to find their own identity.
NY Times best-selling author and lifestyle expert Bruce Littlefield’s latest book is his most personal to date. In Moving In: Tales of an Unlicensed Marriage, he takes readers on a wild and often hysterical ride through the first year spent fixing up a historic old house with partner (and unwitting handyman) Scott Stewart, one of Manhattan’s top real estate brokers.
Last week a sports writer visited campus to talk with students. Before the big presentation, a student asked him what he thought about Orlando Cruz, a professional boxer who recently announced he is gay, the first and only professional boxer to do so. And the writer simply said this issue is going to be the Jackie Robinson of this generation. The handful of 20 year olds sitting around the table got what he meant, maybe even more than 70 year olds that lived through baseball’s integration.
In the spring of 2009, John Schwartz got a distress call from his wife. His 13-year old son, Joe, was on his way to the hospital after a failed suicide attempt.
Joe, a socially awkward but smart boy, had finally mustered the courage to come out as gay to his classmates who responded with discomfort and dismay. Hours later, he took dozens of Benadryl capsules with the intention of killing himself.
Dr. Robert Spitzer, one of the leading psychiatrists in the US, recently did something remarkable. In a letter published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior on May 19th he humbly wrote, “I owe the gay community an apology.”
He was apologizing for a study -- first presented in 2001 and published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior in 2003 -- that examined at whether or not therapy could make gay people straight. Dr. Spitzer concluded that it could, based on interviews of 200 men and women recruited from centers that offered so called “reparative” or “conversion” therapy.