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"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed. It is so ordered."
-Majority Opinion, Obergefell v. Hodges, June 26, 2015
In a landmark decision on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in Obgerfell v. Hodges that marriage equality is the law of the land. While the number of states that allowed same-sex couples to wed ballooned rapidly to a majority n the last few years, there were still a few states that refused to recognize these unions. The Obgerfell v. Hodges ruling legalizes same-sex marriage in all states. This has been a long-awaited victory for those who have fought long and hard for equality. Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage back in 2004. Now, 11 years later, full recognition of lesbian and gay unions has arrived.
The University Libraries have many resources on this topic, and in celebration of this momentous day, we bring them to you so that you might get an idea of how we got to this point.
Becker, J. (2014). Forcing the spring: Inside the fight for marriage equality. New York, NY: Penguin Press. Dewey Library / KF228.H645 B43 2014
Gill, E. R. (2012). An argument for same-sex marriage: Religious freedom, sexual freedom, and public expressions of civic equality. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. University Library / HQ 1034 U5 G55 2012
Kimport, K. (2014). Queering marriage: Challenging family formation in the United States. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. University Library / HQ 1034 U5 K56 2014
Leckey, R. (ed.) 2015. After legal equality: Family, sex, kinship. New York, NY: Routledge. Online / K699 .A94 2015
Mohr, R. D. (2007). The long arc of justice: Lesbian and gay marriage, equality, and rights. New York: Columbia University Press. University Library / HQ 76.3 U5 M642 2007
Taylor, V. A., Bernstein, M. (2013). The marrying kind?: Debating same-sex marriage within the lesbian and gay movement. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Dewey Library / HQ 1034 U5 M38 2013
These are just some of the books the libraries have on same-sex marriage. The Human Rights Campaign also has an interactive map that shows the history of marriage rights in the U.S., as well as the history and current state of many other issues faced by the LGBT community.
It is important to celebrate victories, but advocates for LGBT equality cannot forget that marriage equality is but one step on the road There are many more issues that have yet to be resolved, from housing and workplace discrimination to access to medical care, violence, LGBT youth homelessness, and much more. If you would like to learn more about these issues, stop by the Dewey Library and check out our Pride Month display, just updated to celebrate this landmark ruling. Take a copy of the bibliography provided, which is full of useful resources for researching LGBT topics.
If you need more help, please stop in. You can also contact the reference desk by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (518) 442-3691.
Blog post created by Alex Hoag
Image: MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images