Civil Wars by David Moats
A Battle for Gay Marriage

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In 2000 Vermont became the first state to grant gay and lesbian couples the right to join in civil unions-a groundbreaking decision that has inspired similar legislation in six states thus far. But it was not an easy victory; the ruling sparked the fiercest political conflict in the state's memory. David Moats was in the thick of it, writing a series of balanced, humane editorials that earned a Pulitzer Prize. Now he tells the intimate stories behind the battle and introduces us to all the key actors in the struggle, including the couples who first filed suit; the lawyers who spent years championing the case; and the only openly gay legislator in Vermont, who ensured victory with an impassioned, deeply personal speech on the House floor at a crucial moment.

Civil Wars is a remarkable drama of democracy at work on a human scale.

About David Moats

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David Moats is the editorial-page editor at the Rutland Herald, where he won that paper's first Pulitzer Prize for his series of editorials in support of same-sex unions in Vermont. He is also a playwright who has authored a dozen plays. He lives in Middlebury, Vermont.
Published February 2, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 304 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Gay & Lesbian, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

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“They would provoke bigotry, of course, but in doing so they would expose bigotry to the light, touching the conscience of their neighbors in a surprising and gratifying way.” So it was when Vermonters responded to a State Supreme Court ruling that state laws excluding gay and lesbian citizens fr...

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Publishers Weekly

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In this gripping piece of journalistic history, Moats chronicles the battle over gay marriage in Vermont, which culminated in 2000 with the first state law allowing gay civil unions.

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For instance, the State Supreme Court provided a confusing decision on the issue when it stated that banning gay marriage violated the Common Benefits Clause of the Vermont Constitution, but punted the issue to the legislature.

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