Outlaw Marriages: The Hidden Histories of Fifteen Extraordinary Same-Sex Couples

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Beacon Press, May 15, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 224 pages
3 Reviews
For more than a century before gay marriage became a hot-button political issue, same-sex unions flourished in America. Pairs of men and pairs of women joined together in committed unions, standing by each other “for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health” for periods of thirty or forty—sometimes as many as fifty—years. In short, they loved and supported each other every bit as much as any husband and wife.

In Outlaw Marriages, cultural historian Rodger Streitmatter reveals how some of these unions didn’t merely improve the quality of life for the two people involved but also enriched the American culture.

Among the high-profile couples whose lives and loves are illuminated in the following pages are Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams and Mary Rozet Smith, literary icon Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, author James Baldwin and Lucien Happersberger, and artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SigmundFraud - LibraryThing

The writing is functional. No more, no less. The fifteen stories are brief but interesting. It included several couples that I had no idea that at least one of them was gay. It includes mainly famous ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rmharris - LibraryThing

A quick read, relying mainly on secondary sources, Outlaw Marriages is an important reminder that some lesbians and gays have not needed the sanction of the state in order to create fulfilling lives ... Read full review


Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15

Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10

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About the author (2012)

Rodger Streitmatter†is a journalist and cultural historian whose work explores how the media have helped to shape American culture. He is currently a professor in the School of Communication at American University and is the author of seven previous books.

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