What better way to celebrate the third anniversary of the first legal same-sex marriages in U.S. history than at the release party for Courting Equality (Beacon Press), perhaps the most vivid rendering of the struggle to achieve and maintain marriage equality in Massachusetts â€” and more importantly perhaps, the profound impact it has had on LGBT couples and families â€” that will ever be put between hard covers.Courting Equality was authored by Pat Gozemba, co-chair of The History Project, and her spouse Karen Kahn, and illustrated with page upon glossy page of photos by Marilyn Humphries, a longtime Bay Windows contributor who has spent decades documenting the life of the local LGBT community. Itâ€™s required reading both for the thousands of revelers who celebrated the betrothed at Cambridge City Hall on May 17, 2004, when “the city block rocked with cheers at 12:01,” as Gozemba and Khan note, and those fair-minded folks who may still be uncomfortable with the idea of same-sex marriage.
For progressive activists Gozemba explains, Courting Equality serves to validate “what we have done to preserve equality for all people. We want progressives to see that and be proud of what their achievements have been and to bolster us as we go ahead to continue the struggle.” As for those less inclined to support equality, Gozemba hopes that theyâ€™ll see the book “and theyâ€™ll look at what the issues are, theyâ€™ll look at the political struggle and theyâ€™ll also look at the families, in particular, and see how critical this is to people” across the “whole spectrum of life,” from young couples with children to older folks facing their twilight years with limited resources. “People arenâ€™t really thinking about how our lives are affected along the whole spectrum of life,” says Gozemba.
Gozemba, Kahn and Humphries will be signing copies at a book release party at the Cambridge YWCA from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on May 16. ACLUM Executive Director Carol Rose will play host for festivities that will include remarks from Mary Bonauto, the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders attorney who masterminded the Goodridge case. “Itâ€™s really a celebration of the launch of the book and a kind of rededication to preserve marriage equality,” Gozemba says of the event.