Speak Now: Marriage Equality on Trial by Kenji Yoshino is a legal history of marriage equality, briefly recounting the history of the movement and then focusing in on a specific case.
While that might sound like a dry topic, Speak Now is actually a surprisingly interesting and an easy-to-understand read. Kenji Yoshino obviously knows his way around the law, likely due to his years as a constitutional law scholar. But, knowing his account has value beyond the courtroom, he attempts — and manages — to write his book for the layman to understand.
Focusing on Hollingsworth v. Perry, the lawsuit brought against California’s Proposition 8, Yoshino offers insight into the steps that led to the eventual pro-same-sex marriage decision. In light of the June 2015 decision by the Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage, the book offers an in-depth view of the biggest stepping-stone to that decision. And while some might say the book is already outdated, it actually has great value as being the most in-depth discussion of both the arguments for and against same-sex marriage, thanks to the 3,000-page transcript of the trial Yoshino used to research his book. Beyond a play-by-play of the case itself, readers will learn a lot about how civil rights cases are tried, the path of marriage equality and the personal stories of those affected by the decision. All of these factors are now important as the country grapples with the Supreme Court's final decision on the matter.
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