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California High Court Decision Re-Ignites Same-Sex Marriage Debate in Politics & Religion

23 May

For Immediate Release

For Immediate Release

Cleveland, OH-The Pilgrim Press has experienced resurgence in demand for a title initially released in 2004 in the wake of the Massachusetts high court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in the commonwealth: Same-Sex Marriage? A Christian Ethical Analysis. Now with the decision by the California Supreme Court authorizing the same in the nation's most populous state during a presidential-election year, the debate is raging anew in both legal and theological circles. The publisher has gone back to press for a third printing of the book that helps to clarify issues in the controversy and arrives at some unexpected conclusions.

In his book originally published in hardcover and now available in trade paperback, a progressive Christian ethicist at a mainline Protestant seminary examines the arguments for and against same-sex marriage and concludes that as a matter of justice, the institution should be open to same-sex couples. However, the author, Marvin M. Ellison, an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and a professor of Christian ethics at United Church of Christ-related Bangor Theological Seminary, points out that marriage is not necessarily ideal for all lesbian or gay people, and that marriage is not for all straight people either.

In dialogue with both legal scholars and theologians, Ellison examines the strengths and weaknesses of how marriage traditionalists, advocates of same-sex marriage, and LGBT (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender) critics of marriage analyze the issues and frame their arguments. The book offers constructive proposals for revitalizing Christian sexual and family ethics and moves the debate forward, regardless of whether the right to marry is won or lost.

Marvin M. Ellison is Willard S. Bass Professor of Christian Ethics at United Church of Christ-related Bangor Theological Seminary in Maine and an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). He received his Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. Ellison is co-editor of Heterosexism in Contemporary World Religion: Problem and Prospect (The Pilgrim Press, 2007) and Body and Soul: Rethinking Sexuality as Justice-Love (The Pilgrim Press, 2003), author of Erotic Justice: A Liberating Ethic of Sexuality (1996), and a principal author of the Presbyterian Church (USA) study document Keeping Body and Soul Together: Sexuality, Spirituality, and Social Justice (1991). He lives in Portland, Maine.

Same-Sex Marriage? A Christian Ethical Analysis
Marvin M. Ellison
208 PP - Index - 6" x 9"-Trade paper
ISBN 0-8298-1659-3
$21.00 USA/$28.00 CAN
World Rights

Endorsements for Same-Sex Marriage? A Christian Ethical Analysis:

"Heterosexuals have no monopoly on love and Ellison brilliantly shows in this book that the right to marry is a human right, not an award for being heterosexual."
- Daniel C. Maguire, professor of moral theology, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

"A must read for anyone who wants to take an informed position on this issue. Ellison's book offers an essential voice in the marriage debate by bringing the broad ethics of Christianity to what is otherwise a legal question about the justness [sic] of discrimination against gay and lesbian couples in civil marriage. He takes to task all the players in the debate, and brings to bear the rich justness and compassion of Christian ethics to enrich the debate."
- Mary L. Bonauto, civil rights director of GLAD (Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders), and lead counsel in the Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and co-counsel in the Baker v. State of Vermont
For additional information contact:
Aimée J. Jannsohn
The Pilgrim Press
700 Prospect Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44115-1100
(216) 736-3761 - Phone
(216) 736-2207 - Fax


The organizations and/or individuals who submit materials for distribution by Religion News Service are solely responsible for the facts in and accuracy of their materials. Religion News Service will correct any errors brought to its attention.

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