Book Review: Gay Families and the Courts

TITLE: Gay Families and the Courts SUBTITLE: The Quest for Equal Rights
AUTHOR: Susan Gluck Mezey PUBLICATION DATE: September 2009
PUBLISHER: Bowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
PAGE COUNT: 300 pp.
ISBN: 0-7425-6219-0 (Paper)
0-7425-6218-2 (Cloth)
PROBABLE PRICE: $27.95 (Paper)
$70.00 (Cloth)

Mezey (political science–Loyola Chicago) is an established author in the legal rights realm as it relates to women and minority groups. The relationship between public policy and the law as it pertains to LGBT issues is explored in an attempt to clarify where the courts stand with respect to the extent to which gay rights permeates marriage and the family, as well as the level to which a maturing framework for social change manifests itself within an evolving legal system.

Mezey’s work is an excellent primer for the researcher of high-profile gay rights issues, such as same-sex marriage and freedom of association. The manner in which judges in various states have analyzed, dissected, and parsed opposing arguments is presented in great detail. Common legal trends that cross state lines are noted, as the author explains the challenges facing plaintiffs who pursue untested notions. Mezey concludes that the concept of a constitutional guarantee of the right to same-sex marriage is doomed to failure as long as the judiciary refuses to embrace a theory of social change which incorporates a framework for marriage that includes both procreation and the social well-being of children within a society that permits marriage between members of the same sex.

Superbly indexed by subject heading as well as case law, the author also provides an invaluable bibliography of print and electronic resources to assist the reader. The book is aimed at an academic audience and is thus recommended mainly for college, university, and law libraries.

Philip Y. Blue, New York State Supreme Court Criminal Branch Law Library, First Judicial District, New York, New York

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