The Commitment by Dan Savage: Book Review

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Cover of The Commitment by Dan Savage

4 Stars

As the “gay marriage debate” was heating up back in oh, 2005, Dan Savage and his boyfriend (they dislike the word partner) were in the middle of their own debate. Should they or shouldn’t they? They’d been together ten years, they’d adopted a son together, neither had any intention of leaving the relationship, they fully believed that gays and lesbians should have the right to get married, they just weren’t sure that marriage was for them. They talk it over, going back and forth, receiving lots of input in favor of marriage from Dan’s mom, and against marriage from their 5-year-old son.

Honestly, I read this for a book challenge I’m trying to complete before the end of the year. I think I saw Dan Savage once on Real Time with Bill Maher but other than that he’s not on my radar. I keep my political opinions to myself. Has anyone ever changed the mind of someone else in a political argument? I think not. So let’s just say that I’m a happily-married heterosexual female who thinks that gay people should be allowed to get married. And that’s all I’ll say about that.

Savage’s memoir is, for the most part, hilarious, brutally honest, and straight to the point. He points out the fallacies in the tired old arguments trotted out against gay marriage, takes some potshots at its most vocal opponents, and chronicles his own personal debate within the debate. I laughed most of the way through it.

It did irritate me that Savage has no compunction about casting people around him in broad stereotypes, but at least he admits that he’s a close-minded liberal (or something like that anyway). Apparently the entire population of South Dakota is fat, wants to kick his butt simply because he’s gay, and doesn’t have the mental capacity to read the New York Times. I shudder to think what he says about us Southerners.

If you have the ideology to enjoy this, go ahead and read it. It was entertaining but also a little sad to see that we haven’t made much progress in the eight years since this was published.

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I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s, my local independent bookstore located in beautiful downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site. My opinions are completely my own.

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  1. I read this some time ago and I agree it's depressing how little has changed. Thanks for sharing your review

  2. Oh man, I /love/ this book. When I first read it, I keep forcing it on other people. At one point I had something like four copies in my junk closet, just so I could have one on hand to give away to people.
    My politics predisposed my to like him, but more than anything I liked the book because of what it had to say about marriage — not gay marriage, but marriage as a whole.

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