45 minutes | Jun 22, 2021

An Engaging Conversation with Author Sasha Issenberg on the 25-year Path to Marriage Equality

Journalist and author Sasha Issenberg recently released his new book, The Engagement: America's Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage. Sasha chronicles the path to progress on this issue from the early 90s when even most LGBT advocates didn't see marriage equality as an achievable goal..to the present with marriage equality cemented by the Supreme Court and over 70% of Americans (and rising) lining up behind these rights. In this conversation, Sasha talks the core thesis of his book, the strategic decisions that made a difference in the debate, the key political actors on both sides of the debate, and insight into the inner workings of the Obama White House as the positions of the President and VP evolved. A lot of smart stuff from Sasha to chew on as a primer for his authoritative book, The Engagement, on the seminal civil rights issue of the last thirty years(Please consider leaving a rating and review in your podcast app)IN THIS EPISODE…The conversations that led to Sasha sinking his teeth into this topic…Sasha explains why “civil unions” was a double-edged sword for the marriage equality movement…The problems gay marriage advocates had to solve to move from losing to winning at the ballot box…The “huge” breakthrough for the gay community in the ’92 presidential campaign…The Republican who played a key role in moving Senate Democrats toward marriage equality…Which marriage equality opponent was the most effective?What explains the “backlash” in public opinion against marriage equality in the mid 90s and mid 2000s?Inside the Obama White House when VP Biden comes out for marriage equality before the President…Sasha talks the 5-4 Supreme Court Obergefell decision…One elected official Sasha believes showed a Profile in Courage on this issue…Sasha talks the importance of pop culture in driving progress…Two book recommendations Sasha used as models for The Engagement…AND…George Allen, PT Barnum, Elizabeth Birch, Barbara Boxer, Bill Clinton, Brides Magazine, James Comey, contact theory, Betsy DeVos, Mike Dukakis, the ERA ratification fight, Andrew Flores, Barney Frank, Freedom to Marry, going to war with Bolivia, Whoopi Goldberg, Lisa Grove, Hawaii’s Future Today, Valerie Jarrett, Anthony Kennedy, Mark Kirk, the LDS Church, longitudinal connections, Claire McCaskill, Ken Mehlman, the movable middle, notebook factories, the NRCC, NYT wedding announcements, the Orlando Magic, the Portland Arch Diocese, the Reliance Doctrine, Rob Portman, Robin Roberts, Chuck Robb, Mitt Romney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, sending astronauts to Pluto, Amy Simon, the soil of South Carolina, Jon Tester, Third Way, The View, virtuous cycles, Dick Wirthlin, & MORE!
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