Civil Wars

Civil Wars

A Battle for Gay Marriage

By David Moats

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780151010172, 304pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 2004


In 2000 Vermont became the first state to grant gay and lesbian couples the right to join in civil unions-a groundbreaking decision that has inspired similar legislation in six states thus far. But it was not an easy victory; the ruling sparked the fiercest political conflict in the state's memory. David Moats was in the thick of it, writing a series of balanced, humane editorials that earned a Pulitzer Prize. Now he tells the intimate stories behind the battle and introduces us to all the key actors in the struggle, including the couples who first filed suit; the lawyers who spent years championing the case; and the only openly gay legislator in Vermont, who ensured victory with an impassioned, deeply personal speech on the House floor at a crucial moment.

Civil Wars is a remarkable drama of democracy at work on a human scale.

About the Author

David Moats is the editorial page editor of the Rutland Herald, where he won that paper's first Pulitzer Prize for his series of editorials in support of same-sex unions. His articles have appeared in the New York Times and the Wash-ington Post. He lives in Middlebury, Vermont.

Praise For Civil Wars

"David Moats wrote a series of editorials as fine as any published in an American newspaper in many years. Now he brings the same tone and temper to his book: wise, calm, generous, and understanding. Readers will meet an exceptional writer telling a most compelling story."-Donald Graham, chairman of the Washington Post Company

"He is taking a Vermont experience and making it into a national story that is worth telling."
-Madeleine Kunin, former Vermont governor

"A thoroughly engaging narrative that is poignant and provocative."

"Moasts opens in an epic manner... and reports clearly and fairly from a thoroughly secular perspective."

"A heartening book, and tonic for these politically polarized times."

"A page-turner that may have readers so engrossed in its storytelling, they forget the controversial nature of its subject matter."

"Insightful cultural history enlivened by well-rendered characters, sweeping events, and a clearly argued pro-gay marriage agenda."

"A fascinating book."

"Sparely elegant. It is valuable reading for anyone who wants to understand one of the central issues of our time." <br>