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Gay Marriage, Real Life

Gay Marriage, Real Life

Ten Stories of Love and Family

Also available as an eBook from the Amazon Kindle Store.

Author: Michelle Bates Deakin

Price: $14.00

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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.

Read individually, each of these in-depth stories will provide a probing and compassionate tale of self-discovery that readers can compare with their own experiences. Read together, the stories create an inspiring volume that captures the powerful and dramatic effect that the legalization and growing acceptance of same-sex marriage is having on our society.

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

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Foreword

Preface

There's Something Liberating in Speaking Your Truth.

Clay and Rashad

Are They Going to Take Mommy Out of Our Family?

Anne and Heather

You and Dad Are Married, Right?

Gary and Rich

There's No Mold for Us To Follow

Mandy and Angela

We'll Get Chickens and Then We'll Get Married

Richard and Perry

My Youngest Is My Lesbian

Kate and Joanna

I Don't Want to Be a Second-Class Citizen.

Tom and Phuoc

I Knew I Would Be Able to Be Gay the Day I Was Financially Independent.

Beth and Genesis

We'll Keep Getting Married Until It Takes.

Jonathan and Dean

I Don't Know What It's Like Not to Have Two Moms.

Jill and Vickie

Epilogue

Stories from the heart are the best answer to the fears clouding the question of gay marriage. During the struggle for civil unions in Vermont, I watched as dozens of gay and lesbian Vermonters stepped forward to speak the truth about their lives. They put a human face on a contentious political issue. When 1,500 people gathered one winter evening at the Vermont State House to debate the question, many could see that the people speaking out about their lives and loves were ordinary Vermonters, living ordinary lives, seeking a right that most people take for granted and could readily understand-the right to marry the man or woman of their choosing. Their courage in speaking out in the face of wrathful opposition won them the admiration of many.The stories in these pages put a human face on the issue in a similar way. The families in these stories experience confusion and heartache as they come to terms with the sexual orientation of a son, daughter, brother, sister. Sometimes families fail to come to terms, or, as in one devastating instance, death intervenes as a father reaches the very threshold of reconciliation.

These stories form a rich and varied tapestry. There are a Vietnam veteran and his partner, a Vietnamese refugee. There are a seminary student and her partner, a soldier in the National Guard. There are loving parents who take on the cause of their children and parents who come to acceptance painfully, or never. There are couples struggling in the South to be true to themselves in a culture that is not ready for them. There are children with two moms who wonder what the problem is. For those who want a deeper understanding of why marriage is important to gay and lesbian couples, these moving accounts provide a good place to begin. Those with the courage to be open about the truth of their lives have enormous power to dispel fear and to show that love and marriage among gay and lesbian couples is not some other thing-it is love and marriage, and it is something we can all understand. The couples who agreed to tell their stories in this book provide a glimpse into the struggle gay and lesbian couples still face in securing a place in American life where their rights are honored and they are free to follow the ordinary and extraordinary pathways of love.

"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. Deakin's 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 ensure 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

"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

"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

"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

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