The definitive history of the marriage equality debate in the United States. As a legal scholar who first argued in the early 1990s for a right to gay marriage, William N. Eskridge Jr. has been on the front lines of the debate over same sex marriage for decades. In this book, Eskridge and his coauthor, Christopher R. Riano, offer a panoramic and definitive history of America’s marriage equality debate. The authors explore the deeply religious, rabidly political, frequently administrative, and pervasively constitutional features of the debate and consider all angles of its dramatic history. While giving a full account of the legal and political issues, the authors never lose sight of the personal stories of the people involved, or of the central place the right to marry holds in a person’s ability to enjoy the dignity of full citizenship. This is not a triumphalist or one sided book but a thoughtful history of how the nation wrestled with an important question of moral and legal equality.