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For more than a century before gay marriage became a hot-button political issue, same-sex unions flourished in America. Pairs of men and pairs of women joined together in committed unions, standing by each other “for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health” for periods of thirty or forty–sometimes as many as fifty–years. In short, they loved and supported each other every bit as much as any husband and wife.
In Outlaw Marriages, cultural historian Rodger Streitmatter reveals how some of these unions didn’t merely improve the quality of life for the two people involved but also enriched the American culture.
Among the high-profile couples whose lives and loves are illuminated in the following pages are Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams and Mary Rozet Smith, literary icon Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, author James Baldwin and Lucien Happersberger, and artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.
“The volume will have particular appeal to readers of gender studies, but these stories ultimately prove that true partnership is gender blind.”–Publishers Weekly
“A thoroughly interesting look at gay and lesbian love, life and relationships.”–EDGE
“Fifteen love marriages that dared not speak their name defied laws and mores, flouted conventions, and live today in Streitmatter’s essential, well-documented history.”–Booklist
“A nice gift for just the right couple.”–Kirkus Reviews
“An engaging and well-researched volume with broad appeal to the LGBTQ crowd (especially couples) as well as social historians.”—Library Journal
“In Outlaw Marriages he distills a wealth of information down to a lively and effective series of double portraits.”–The Gay and Lesbian Review
“…Streitmatter expertly threads together the historical backgrounds and incredible courage of these couples… it’s a damn good bunch of stories told in a very approachable 160-ish pages.”–The Stranger