An ardent supporter of marriage as a civil institution who is interested in fending off its radical liberal critics, Stephen Macedo traces the milestones on the road toward marriage equality for same-sex couples. He explores in depth the cultural shifts, legislative actions, and landmark court cases that paved the way for the remarkably speedy success of the marriage equality movement.

To be sure, there were setbacks—or, depending on your perspective, temporary victories for the opponents of same-sex marriage. But according to Macedo, the rise of same-sex marriage was inevitable in a just and democratic society. With the recent broad acceptance of homosexuality as an immutable characteristic and not an alternative lifestyle preference, as well as the mass exodus of gay people from the closet, many Americans went from being squeamish about gay marriage to being squeamish about telling their gay friends that their relationships are less than valid. As Macedo notes:

Exclusion of gay and lesbian Ameri­cans from marriage is, like their exclusion from the military, invidious: a badge of inferiority and second-class status that perpetuates harmful stereo­types and stigma that are bound to be especially damaging to children and young adults. . . . Keeping gays from marrying accomplishes nothing for the greater good.