Name and role at the Press: Tom Sullivan, Marketing Assistant
Book selection, and why: One Marriage Under God: The Campaign to Promote Marriage in America
As a gay dude, I’m always fascinated by both queer and heterosexual America’s rabid fascination with marriage. On one hand, the whole “’til death do us part” thing sounds kind of nice, but on the other hand it is a relatively archaic religious heterosexist construct that dates back to way before my time on this earth. Gross.
Taking the more radical queer approach, I always frame the marriage equality debate by questioning its relation to the term “equality” in the first place. Yes, it gives the queer community some rights, but what about workplace rights? What if folks don’t want to get married but still want the benefits that marriage provides? What about the T portion of the LGBT community? Does this really do anything for them? Clearly there is a lot to explore here, and I’m excited to see what Melanie Heath’s One Marriage Under God tells us about the raging marriage equality debate in America and its underlying significance in relation to the larger institution of marriage. It’s rare that we see a balanced ethnography of this hot topic, and given the lengths that she’s went with her research, this should be an interesting read. She’s taken her exploration off of the traditional battle front of queer vs. hetero and extended it even further, delving into marriage workshops and even high school marriage education to approach marriage equality–and the anxiety and controversy surrounding it–from a broader angle. Marriage education? That certainly wasn’t part of my New Jersey public school’s curriculum.
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