The changing legal landscape of same-sex marriage

November 14th, 2012

It is, arguably, the civil rights issue of our times. Same sex marriage has also become one of the most politically volatile. It divides red and blue states, most profoundly divides generations and, perhaps more than any other single political issues, attitudes are changing as the recent elections in Maryland, Main and Washington showed us.

While polarized positions on issues like guns, death penalty, healthcare and immigration harden over time, in the case of gay marriage the public seems to be becoming more accepting.   While we still wait to see if the US Supreme Court is going to take up California’s Prop 8, it’s clear that it will hear one of many cases on the issue of gay marriage. Because more than anywhere else the battle is being fought in the courts as well as the political battlefield.

Michael J. Klarman, is a Civil Rights historian as well as  the Kirkland & Ellis Professor at Harvard Law School. He takes us inside the legal battle in From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash, and the Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage My conversation with Michael J. Klarman: