States of Marriage: The Debate over Gay Rights

States of Marriage: The Debate over Gay Rights

Sun, 07/10/2011 - 10:00pm

Pictured: States of Marriage host Jane Lindholm

Credit: Vermont Public Radio

States of Marriage explores the country's soul-searching over gay marriage with voices from both sides of the debate.

States of Marriage: The Debate over Gay Rights, airing on Sunday, July 10 at 10 p.m. on AM 1370/FM-HD 91.5-2, examines how several states have approached legal recognition for gay and lesbian couples. Host Jane Lindholm looks at the divisive civil unions precedent in Vermont and how it set the stage for a marriage law in Massachusetts. Advocates on both sides of the issue explain their political and legal strategies to convince voters and courts of their cause, and we see the results of that debate in California, Iowa and Maine.

Ten years ago in December, the Vermont Supreme Court changed the landscape of legal rights for same-sex couples when it handed down its ruling in the case Baker v. State of Vermont. The three same-sex couples who were the Bakerplaintiffs had argued that they deserve the rights of marriage, just as heterosexual couples do. In the decade since, the country has debated the deeply personal and very public questions of what marriage means and how to legally recognize gay and lesbian couples, and how ideas of family and civil rights are challenged by these questions.