Every gay man and lesbian in America has at least two heterosexual allies willing to actively support their struggle for equality, hypothesize husband-and-wife law professors Ayres (Yale, and also a Forbes columnist) and Brown (Quinnipiac College). They argue that the hetero ally total is something like 20 million-all of whom would actively welcome "pragmatic advice" on how they can support their homosexual friends, which the authors are more than happy to provide. They propose strategies for dealing with hetero privilege-"the range of perks and incentives with which heterosexually identified persons are rewarded for conforming to the dominant sexuality"-exercising it, disabling it and renouncing it-and provide examples of each. They suggest that heterosexuals consider masking their own sexual orientation when doing activism. From the "fair employment mark" (a proposal that would allow consumers to purchase products bearing a mark that signals gay-friendly employment policies) to the "The Vacation Pledge for Equal Marriage Rights" (a Website designed by Ayres and Brown that will collect promises from individuals vowing to spend their tourism dollars in the first state to democratically extend marriage rights to same-sex couples), this practical primer delivers on its promise to provide a "concrete guide to action" by offering innovative economic and legal tactics for influencing public and corporate policy.
What God Has Joined Together? : A Christian Case for Gay Marriage by David G. Myers, Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Coauthors Myers (who serves on the board of the National Marriage Project) and Scanzoni (of the Evangelical and Ecumenical Women's Caucus) "take marriage... [and] our Christian faith seriously." Bringing together those two commitments to build a Christian case for gay marriage, they begin by arguing that marriage is good for society: marriage correlates to longevity; boys raised by married parents are less likely to commit crimes; married moms are less prone to depression than single moms and so forth. Why, the authors ask, should these good things be reserved for heterosexuals? They then consider what Scripture has to say about sexual orientation, rehearsing the by now familiar arguments that Jesus has nothing to say about homosexuality, and though the Bible does talk occasionally about homosexual sex, it does not deal with "loving committed homosexual relationships." Myers and Scanzoni's tone is calm, respectful and balanced. For example, though they present some of the latest scientific evidence about the causes of sexual orientation (including a chart of "mental rotation scores by sexual orientation"!), they also freely admit that scientific studies on this issue are still in the early stages, and that even conclusive scientific information "cannot... resolve values questions." With its traditional defense of marriage and its progressive embrace of same-sex relationships, this book cannot be pigeonholed, and that in itself is refreshing. (June)
Why Marriage Matters : America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry by Evan Wolfson
A nationally renowned attorney and director of Freedom to Marry, Wolfson hails the movement for marriage equality as "one of the first important civil rights campaigns of the 21st century" and grounds support for it within…