Gay Marriage: for Better Or for Worse?: What We've Learned from the Evidence

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Oxford University Press, USA, Jun 18, 2006 - Law - 336 pages
Opponents of same-sex marriage in the United States often claim that allowing gays and lesbians to marry will lead to the downfall of the institution of marriage and will harm children. Drawing from 16 years of data and experience with same-sex unions in Scandinavia, Gay Marriage: For Better or for Worse? is the first book to present empirical evidence about the results of same-sex marriage (in the form of registered partnerships) from the Nordic countries. Spedale and Eskridge demonstrate that conservative defense-of-marriage arguments that predict negative effects from gay marriage are invalid, and the Scandinavian experience suggests that the institution of marriage may indeed benefit from the enactment of gay marriage. If we look at the proof from abroad, the authors argue, we must conclude that the sanctioning of gay marriage in the United States would neither undermine marriage as an institution, nor harm the wellbeing of our nation's children.

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User Review  - jklugman - LibraryThing

This is a very thoughtful and measured examination of the arguments against allowing gay marriage. It tests these arguments in the Scandinavian context (where gay partnerships have been legal since as ... Read full review

Gay marriage: for better or for worse?: what we've learned from the evidence

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This study of same-sex marriage distinguishes itself by avoiding molten rhetoric and grounding its analysis in empirical data from Scandinavia's 16-year history of legal registered partnerships. In ... Read full review


Toward a Brave New World
The Evolving SameSex Marriage Debate in the United States
The SameSex Marriage Debate in Scandinavia

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About the author (2006)

Darren R. Spedale is a corporate attorney at White & Case, LLP in New York City. He spent two years on a Fulbright Fellowship in Denmark researching Scandinavian same-sex partnerships. He received his J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from Stanford University, and continues his work on same-sex marriage through his pro bono activities.

William N. Eskridge, Jr. is the John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at the Yale Law School. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including Dynamic Statutory Interpretation and Gaylaw: Challenging the Apartheid of the Closet. He is currently writing a book on the rise and decline of sodomy law in America.

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