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Against same sex marriages Essay

NATIONAL JOURNAL OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION LAW
VOL. 1, ISSUE 1
Mary Sylla, editor (email protected)
A (Personal) Essay on Same-Sex Marriage
Barbara J. Cox
Professor
California Western School of Law
_________________________________________________________________
Very little since Stonewall, and the break from accepting
the status quo that those riots symbolize, has challenged the
lesbian and gay community as much as the debate we have had over
the past several years on whether seeking the right to marry
should be the focus of our community’s efforts, political
influence, and financial resources. As is often true in most
such political debates, both “sides” to the debate make important
arguments about the impact that the right to marry will have on
each member of our community, on the community as a whole, and on
Arguing against same-sex marriage in her article, Since When
is Marriage a Path to Liberation?, Paula Ettelbrick believes that
it will not liberate lesbians and gay men but will make us more
invisible, force assimilation, and undermine the lesbian and gay
civil rights movement. She also argues that it will not
transform society into respecting and encouraging relationship
choice and family diversity, which are primary goals of that
civil rights movement.

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Ruth Colker in Marriage echoes
Ettelbrick’s concerns, arguing that rather than expanding the
couples who can marry, we should change the institution of
marriage to eliminate its marriage-dependent benefits, so that
people will choose it for symbolic, rather than legal or
utilitarian, reasons. She also recognizes the class-based
assumptions inherent in the marriage debate, realizing that for
most poor people, marriage offers few economic advantages.
Nitya Duclos examines four reasons advanced for same-sex
marriage (political reform, public legitimation, socioeconomic
benefits, and safeguarding children of lesbian or gay parents) in
her article, Some Complicating Thoughts on Same-Sex Marriage.
She concludes that the effects of allowing same-sex marriage will
not be felt uniformly throughout lesbian and gay communities and
questions whether it will exacerbate differences of power and
In a companion piece to Ettelbrick’s, Thomas Stoddard, in
Why Gay People Should Seek the Right to Marry, while recognizing
the oppressive nature of marriage in its traditional form,
believes that lesbians and gay men should be able to choose to
marry and the civil rights movement should seek full recognition
of same-sex marriages. His three reasons for pursuing this right
are the practical advantages associated with marriage-related
benefits, the political reason that marriage is the issue most
likely to end discrimination against lesbians and gay men, and
the philosophical explanation that lesbians and gay men should
have the right to choose to marry and that providing that right
will be the principal means toward eliminating marriage’s sexist
Nan Hunter, in Marriage, Law and Gender: A Feminist
Inquiry, argues that legalizing lesbian and gay marriage will
destabilize marriage’s gendered definition by disrupting the link
between gender and marriage. She analyzes both marriage and
domestic partnership against the feminist inquiry of how law
reinforces power imbalances within the family and views same-sex
marriage as a means to subvert gender-based power differentials.

Mary Dunlap finds that same-sex marriage is constructive when
lesbians and gay men are encountering gay-bashing resulting from
Bowers. She examines the values underlying the push for same-
sex marriage (such as equality, autonomy, fairness, privacy, and
diversity) and encourages expansion of the marriage debate
outside legal circles. One way to expand this debate is to read
the interviews of lesbian and gay couples, some of whom have
chosen to have public ceremonies celebrating their commitment and
some of whom have chosen to keep their commitment private.
The debate continues to rage, as seen from the recent
articles contained in the Virginia Law Review’s symposium
issue. Without resolving the debate here, it seems clear that
obtaining the right to marry will drastically impact the lesbian
and gay civil rights movement. My response to the debate is best
expressed in the following short (and personal) essay, explaining
the vital political change that can result from the simple (and
=19es, I know that weddings can be “heterosexual rituals” of
the most repressive and repugnant kind.

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=19es, I know that
weddings historically symbolized the loss of the woman’s self
into that of her husband’s, a denial of her existence completely.
=19es, I know that weddings around the world continue to have that
impact on many women and often lead to lives of virtual slavery.
=19es, I know. Then how could a feminist, out, radical lesbian
like myself get married a year ago last April? Have I simply
joined the flock of lesbians and gay men rushing out to
participate in a meaningless ceremony that symbolizes
When .

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Against same sex marriages Essay
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NATIONAL JOURNAL OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION LAW VOL. 1, ISSUE 1 Mary Sylla, editor (email protected) A (Personal) Essay on Same-Sex Marriage Barbara J. Cox Professor California Western School of Law _________________________________________________________________ Very litt
2019-02-12 07:31:36
Against same sex marriages Essay
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