A Yale history professor tells how the same-sex marriage movement emerged

The Long Road to Marriage Equality
In an Op-Ed article for the  New York Times, George Chauncey, Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University, writes: “The Supreme Court’s soaring decision on Wednesday to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional is a civil rights landmark, but the history leading up to it is poorly understood.”  In view of yesterday’s Supreme Court’s decision, it’s important to know more about the background events that brought the United States to this point.  See what Professor Chauncey says about the 1980s as the time when things began to change and why he calls the ruling that DOMA is unconstitutional “a civil rights landmark.”

Related:  Watch Diane Sawyer’s interview with Edie Windsor, the 84-year-old lesbian widow  who brought the suit against the United States for treating gay and straight married couples unequally when, upon the death of her spouse, Windsor had to pay a huge amount of inheritance taxes that a heterosexual widow would not have had to pay.   Watch this short video highlighting Edie and Thea’s 42 years of love and life together.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.


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