Defining Marriage traces the decades-long evolution of marriage through the personal stories of those who lived through it. Writer Matt Baume provides an intimate glimpse into the private lives of those who dreamed of marriage in the 1970s, the survivors of the 1980s, the audacious pioneers of the 1990s, the tireless soldiers of the 2000s, and the champions who won marriage today.
Along the way, he explores the individual stories of the people who participated in this revolution, examines what marriage has become, and shows with vivid, compelling personal narratives how the act of defining marriage forever changed the lives and loves of the people who fought to define the institution. As the journey to equality unfolds over the years, Baume finds himself unexpectedly evaluating his own self-contradictory life as a marriage activist with no plans to marry his longtime partner.
Over the course of years, the story of marriage is recounted through intimate, revealing conversations with prominent LGBT figures, allies, and grassroots activists. Dustin Lance Black shares the story of how his escape from childhood abuse prepared him to bring hope to millions; Dan Savage recalls his rejection of the closet at a young age; and Andrew Sullivan remembers the call for marriage in the 1980s that earned him unexpected enemies. Baume visits with Rob Reiner, who inherited a passion for social justice from his television family; San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who stood up to an unjust law and the president of the United States; and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, a former seminary student who picked up the mantle of LGBT liberation after the death of a friend and mentor.
From decades past to this moment in history, from halls of power to private bedrooms, from the political to the personal, Defining Marriage is the story of how people from all walks of life fought to change marriage - and how fighting for marriage, in turn, changed them.