By Kimberly D. Richman
A serious reader of the heritage of marriage is aware that it really is an establishment that has continuously been in flux. it's also a decidedly complex one, present at the same time within the geographical regions of faith, legislations, and emotion. And but fresh years have noticeable dramatic and seriously waged battles over the proposition of together with comparable intercourse in marriage. simply what's at stake in those battles? This booklet examines the meanings of marriage for within the first states to increase that correct to related intercourse undefined: California and Massachusetts. the 2 states offer a compelling distinction: whereas in California the rights that flatter marriage—inheritance, custody, and so forth—were already granted to below the state’s household partnership legislation, these in Massachusetts didn't have this similar set of rights. even as, Massachusetts has provided civil marriage always considering 2004; Californians, however, have skilled a way more turbulent criminal path.
And but, same-sex in either states search to marry for quite a few interacting, overlapping, and evolving purposes that don't range considerably by way of location. The facts indicates us that for plenty of of those members, entry to civil marriage in particular—not household partnership by myself, irrespective of how broad—and not a dedication rite on my own, regardless of how emotional—is a house of such own, civic, political, and instrumental resonance that it's finally tricky to disentangle the various meanings of marriage. This publication makes an attempt to take action, and within the method unearths simply what's at stake for those undefined, how entry to a felony establishment essentially alters their awareness, and what the influence of criminal inclusion is for these routinely excluded.
Kimberly Richman is affiliate Professor of Sociology and criminal reports on the collage of San Francisco.
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Extra info for License to Wed: What Legal Marriage Means to Same-Sex Couples
Just how they interweave with one another, with some becoming more dominant while others recede into the background, is at the heart of this book. But to understand how marriage—and legality—have become so many things to so many people, we must first take a look at the long, convoluted road to legal same-sex marriage in the United States, and the bevy of legal, political, and social issues it has raised and continues to raise. 2 The Road to Same-Sex Marriage The Beginning The first decade of the twentieth century witnessed profound changes in the social and legal position of gay and lesbian couples.
Rather than emphasizing the difference between “rights-giver” and “rights-bearer,” the constitutive perspective aims to disrupt this binary by conceiving of rights and legality as constructs that are given meaning 12 << Introduction in the back-and-forth processes of enacting law and acting upon it (or resisting it). In this case, the act of marrying is one-half of the constitutive process that gives meaning to the state’s decision to extend—or revoke—marriage rights. This book takes as its primary focus people’s reasons for seeking legal marriage and what they hoped it would bring to them.
In the post–Civil War era, former slaves—who had been prohibited from marrying prior to Emancipation due to their lack of standing as legal actors, and were often forcibly removed from their mates and children—focused on marriage as a vital form of freedom and emblem of full citizenship. It was not until the 1960s and ’70s that two fundamental shifts in law and policy altered marriage in a way that helped pave the way for the legal possibility of same-sex marriage. First, in 1967, the Supreme Court ruled in Loving v.