'Lawfully Wedded Wives' rush to altar in book by Professor Nona Caspers, alumna Joell Hallowell

Friday, January 17, 2014

In a new book’s 20 tales of love, sex and commitment—spiritual and scandalous, philosophical and trivial, heartbreaking and hilarious—women tell their same-sex wedding stories in heartfelt words and gorgeous photos.

“In their own words, these are the voices of history,” said Creative Writing Professor Nona Caspers, who edited Lawfully Wedded Wives (Spuyten Duyvil Publishing) with Joell Hallowell, one of her former students.

Particularly relevant as more and more states celebrate marriage equality, the book tells the profound stories of how women celebrating newly granted civil rights rushed to the altar in 2008, when a short window of time emerged when same-sex marriage was legal in California before the passage of Proposition 8.

“Every day, thousands of loving couples come together to make a simple, legal commitment to each other,” Hallowell says, “but the women in Lawfully Wedded Wives tell their memorable stories of marrying in the months immediately after the California Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional to deny marriage rights to gays and lesbians.”

Interviews by Caspers and filmmaker and oral historian Hallowell (M.F.A., Creative Writing, ’09) provide a moving and contemporary glimpse into the women’s decisions to wed, the meanings they assign to weddings and marriage, how their relationships changed as a result, and much more.

“Choosing to wed with varying levels of joy and trepidation, this eclectic group of women had two things in common—a compelling reason to rush to the altar and a stack of wedding photos,” Caspers says. “Their intimate, personal stories document one of the most historic changes in civil rights in our time.”

More than 10 SF State students also contributed to Lawfully Wedded Wives. Chad Koch is the assistant editor, Sadie Crofts designed the cover and book layout and several other students transcribed interviews with couples.

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