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Gay Marriage, Real Life

Ten Stories of Love and Family

Michelle Bates Deakin

Foreword by David Moats, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of Civil Wars: A Battle for Gay Marriage.

This intimate account of ten same-sex couples brings to life how the decision to marry has affected them and their extended families. These personal journeys present a range of experiences, from a mother who became a gay rights activist when her youngest child came out as a lesbian, to a girl whose realization that her fathers were not married spurred the men to join the gay marriage lawsuit in Massachusetts, to a lesbian couple and devoted mothers of twins who fight for same-sex adoption rights in Oklahoma. Deakin chronicles both their private strides toward acceptance and their public struggles to advance gay rights. Thoughtful and timely, Gay Marriage, Real Life tells the powerful and dramatic story of same-sex marriage in America today.

Award-winning journalist Michelle Bates Deakin has been writing about personal and social change for two decades. Her work has appeared in many national magazines and newspapers, including The Boston Globe Magazine, UU World, CommonWealth and Boston Magazine. She lives and works in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Praise for Gay Marriage, Real Life:

"This heartwarming journey into the ordinary lives of ten extraordinary couples seats you at the family table, where you can feel the radiance of their love, get caught up in their laughter and witness the worries and hardships that these couples and their children experience, like other families, yet made all the more perilous by their lack of legal protections. Deakin succeeds in putting human faces on the issue of marriage inequality."
—Davina Kotulski, author of Why You Should Give a Damn About Gay Marriage

“In a world that too often takes marriage (and divorce) for granted, here are stories of ten couples whose every step toward lifelong commitment took courage. Michelle Bates Deakin is sometimes searing, sometimes funny, and often touching portraits bring into focus not just the hard-won ordinariness of today's same-sex families—complete with soccer practice, church functions, and prickly in-laws—but the gay marriage movement's deep roots in the American tradition. As these couples struggle to form more perfect unions, establish justice, and insure domestic tranquility, you realize: it doesn't come any more American than this."
—Jonathan Rauch, author of Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America

"Michelle Bates Deakin paints portraits of families that are both hopeful and heart-rending. She see through eyes looking for what is essential to our shared humanity, capturing vivid gestures and comments that allow these adults and young people to speak for themselves. Michelle goes further, though, in that this valuable book gives equal marriage for same-sex couples both personal content and political context from points across the nation. Important reading for anyone with a stake in the future of marriage in the United States, and that's all of us."
—Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith, First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, Arlington, Massachusetts

"At a time in history when politics has often made us forget the true meaning of marriage, legal or otherwise, Deakin's heartfelt stories are an important reminder that there is no greater power than love in the quest for wedded bliss. The couples profiled in this powerful book are marriage role models to make anyone proud."
—David Toussaint, author of Gay and Lesbian Weddings: Planning the Perfect Same-Sex Ceremony

"Gay Marriage, Real Life presents the stories of ten couples who do something really radical: they get married. They make a commitment to each other. They dare to ask for equality. Over and over we hear that gay and lesbian families are unworthy, unhealthy, not deserving of equality—sentiments preached by people who in most cases do not actually know any gay and lesbian families. So here they are, the brave pioneering people next door. I dare anyone to read this book and still try to argue against marriage equality."
—Hillary Goodridge, lead plaintiff in the landmark case that made gay marriage legal in Massachusetts

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Last updated on Wednesday, June 2, 2010.

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