Marriage Act




After her traditional engagement to her high school sweetheart falls apart, Liza Monroy faced the prospect of another devastating loss: the deportation of her best friend Emir. Desperate to stay in America, Emir tried every legal recourse to obtain a green card knowing that his return to the Middle East—where gay men are often beaten and sometimes killed—was too dangerous. So Liza proposes to Emir in efforts to keep him safe and by her side. After a fast wedding in Las Vegas, the couple faces new adventures and obstacles in both L.A. and New York City as they dodge the INS. Their relationship is compounded further by the fact that Liza’s mother works for the State Department preventing immigration fraud. Through it all, Liza and Emir must contend with professional ambition, adversity, and heartbreak and eventually learn the true lessons of companionship and devotion. This marriage that was not a marriage, in the end, really was.

The Marriage Act is a timely and topical look at the changing face of marriage in America and speaks to the emergent generation forming bonds outside of tradition—and sometimes even outside the law.


“Despite its breezy style, Monroy’s provocative memoir offers more emotional food for thought than can possibly be digested in one sitting. After only reading the introduction, one might wish to remain quiet for a few minutes and ponder her use of the phrase gender-neutral marriage…As such, this phraseology perfectly embodies Monroy’s intentional marriage to a gay man. Though fraught with one psychological or legal time bomb after another, the marriage worked, despite the unimaginable odds. The book is bright. It’s chatty. But Monroy manages to deliver a hefty emotional wallop.”
—Booklist, Starred Review

“A tender, true exploration of human relationships.”
Interview magazine

“This book is a blast—it’s a political act, a buddy story, a love story, and a family saga gone beautifully and tenderly wrong. Read it.”
—Anthony Swofford, New York Times bestselling author of Jarhead

The Marriage Act is a gripping, cinematic page-turner that, as the best memoirs do, opens avenues to larger, zeitgeisty conversations. Here, immigration, civil rights, gender issues, and same-sex marriage are high-stakes backdrops of a deeply personal, affecting tale of love, friendship, and family.”
—Julia Scheeres, bestselling author of Jesus Land and A Thousand Lives

“With The Marriage Act, Liza Monroy portrays a critical moment in our nation’s troubled history of attempting to legislate love while also opening a space for future iterations of the institution that go beyond arguments of gender and into notions of friendship, passion, and dedication. A remarkable and generous book.”
—Cris Beam, author of To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care

“Love is not a limited commodity. Sexuality enjoys limits far beyond heterosexual monogamy. And marriage is a promise limited only by those who make it. The Marriage Act doesn’t just change the game when it comes to how we think about love and sex and marriage. It creates an entirely new one that we’re all about to play.”
—Jenny Block, author of Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage

“Monroy’s timely memoir rises beyond sex and politics, ultimately revealing that only two partners themselves can determine what makes their love and union authentic.”
Publishers Weekly

“Through an absurdly beautiful act of devotion, which forced her to become an outlaw, in a time (now) and a country (ours) where the laws are cruel and outdated, Liza Monroy emerges as both an artist and a hero.”
—Nick Flynn, bestselling author of The Reenactments, The Ticking Is The Bomb, and Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (aka Being Flynn)

“An irresistible blend of candor, humor, insight, lively prose, and plain old humanity, this roller coaster of a memoir about relationships, place, and displacement is so much fun to read!”
—Phillip Lopate, author of Portrait Inside My Head and To Show and to Tell: the Craft of Literary Nonfiction

“The best part about the gay marriage debate (and its reality) is the opportunity for each of us to think about what marriage means to us—to name and practice the values it represents. For Liza Monroy, marriage is a path to justice, a commitment to a friend, and, above all, marriage is love.”
—Jennifer Baumgardner, Publisher of the Feminist Press and author of We Do! American Leaders Who Believe in Marriage Equality

“Monroy questions the meanings of friendship, love, discrimination, and breaking boundaries. But her wicked sense of humor makes THE MARRIAGE ACT a brisk, entertaining read. You’ll never think of ‘love and marriage’ the same way again.”
– Leora Tanenbaum, author of Slut! Growing Up Female with a Bad Reputation


  • reenforcement