Almost 10,000 same-sex couples have wed in Massachusetts since 2003, when that state’s Supreme Court handed down a decision in Goodridge vs. the Department of Public Health that made such unions legal in the state. Since then, the state legislature has rejected several attempts to reinstate a ban. Patricia A. Gozemba and Karen Kahn, together with photographer Marilyn Humphries have recently written a book, Courting Equality: A Documentary History of America’s First Legal Same-Sex Marriages (Beacon Press, 2007), about the civil-rights struggle waged by LGBT activists in Massachusetts and the celebrations that followed the court decision.
Reviewing the book, a Beantown magazine, The Improper Bostonian, said that “The pictures of protests and rallies — both the pro-and the anti- forces swarming with energy — make you feel like you’re witnessing a combination of the American Revolution and a sizzling Red Sox game.”
In Courting Equality‘s photographer’s preface, Humphries writes: “My hope is that the photographs in this book will help others understand what went on in Massachusetts, how so many people, straight and LGBT alike, fought for an issue which conferred dignity as well as the benefits of marriage on the gay and lesbian community. … I believe that when others look at the faces of these families and the people who worked so hard in this struggle they will see the same compelling combination of hope and dignity that I do and understand our commonality and responsibility to one another.”
Gozemba and Kahn will be in Asheville on Wednesday, Sept. 5, at 7 p.m. for a reading and signing at Malaprop’s Bookstore and Cafe. The evening will start off with an iMovie highlighting more than 100 photos from the book. Malaprop’s is located at 55 Haywood St. in Asheville. For more information, call 254-6734.
— Cecil Bothwell, staff writer