Debating Same-Sex Marriage

Buy now from Amazon.

Polls and election results suggest that American attitudes toward same-sex marriage are rapidly changing, yet the idea still faces vocal opposition. Debating Same-Sex Marriage provides an indispensable roadmap to the ongoing controversy. Taking a “point/counterpoint” approach, Corvino and Gallagher explore fundamental questions: What is marriage for? Is sexual difference essential to it? What are the implications of same-sex marriage for children’s welfare, for religious freedom, and for our understanding of marriage itself? While they disagree on many points, they share a commitment to a thoughtful, rigorous, and productive debate.

Click here to read an excerpt.

READ: John’s interview about the book with Dan Savage.

WATCH: John & Maggie discuss on CSPAN Book TV.

WATCH: John & Maggie debate at Wayne State University.


“John Corvino deserves a Gay Medal of Honor for the heroic work he has done in this book….John is like your favorite college professor: he offers insight so cheerfully — and at times so humorously — that you can almost forget that he’s tearing your term paper apart. In this case, the student is Maggie Gallagher and the ‘term paper’ is her flimsy, if passionately felt, rationale for denying gay and lesbian Americans their full civil equality….Everyone interested in the debate over marriage equality — particularly anyone who wishes to be armed with solid pro-marriage-equality arguments — should buy and read this book.”

– Dan Savage, author of The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage and My Family, and founder of the It Gets Better Project 

“Maggie Gallagher is a hero to many of us who care about life, marriage and religious liberty. She is lucid, honest, compassionate, fearless and above all relentlessly reasonable in making the case for marriage as the union of husband and wife. Read this book to learn more about marriage, and about the views of millions of Americans who understand this is one fight we cannot duck.”
– Senator Rick Santorum 

“Debating Same-Sex Marriage’s format is quite interesting – and massively effective…It’s like witnessing a live debate between these two lively characters…I highly recommend this to all – if only for a manual on how to respectfully debate a member of the opposing viewpoint. Well done!”
– Elizabeth Raymond, San Francisco Book Review  (full review here)

“This is a valuable addition to the debate.”
– Publishers Weekly (full review here)

“Debating Same-Sex Marriage is an important book that lays bare the philosophical arguments for and against the legalization of same-sex marriage.”
– Andre Archie, The American Conservative  (full review here)

“Why do the advocates of same-sex marriage want what they want? And why do defenders of traditional marriage, as uniting men with women to form families, resist such a change? One cannot do better for achieving clarity on such questions than by reading Debating Same-Sex Marriage, co-authored by John Corvino and Maggie Gallagher.”
– Matthew J. Franck, Public Discourse  (full review here)

“The debate over whether to recognize same-sex relationships as marriages is among the most sensitive, difficult, and important in American public life. . . . John Corvino and Maggie Gallagher know this, which is why their arguments on marriage are so measured, reasonable, and persuasive — despite their own profound disagreement.”
– Ryan T. Anderson, National Review  (full review here)

“Philosopher John Corvino and National Organization for Marriage co-founder Maggie Gallagher spar spiritedly but respectfully on such topics as the purpose of marriage, the rationale for state recognition, the interests of children, and the consequences for religious freedom.”
– Matt Reynolds, Christianity Today 

“Readers have two good advocates to examine what’s at stake and how it might be spun.”
– National Catholic Register

“Though I have been critical of the arguments presented by Gallagher in this book, I actually think that the book in general is actually an excellent one. It lays out the arguments on both sides of this issue clearly and concisely. Hence, Debating Same-Sex Marriage is an outstanding book not only for the general reader who wants to know more about this debate; it would also be perfect for a university course examining this issue.”
– Robert Scott Stewart, Metapsychology Online Reviews  (full review here)