Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

The Marrying Kind?

Debating Same-Sex Marriage within the Lesbian and Gay Movement

2013

Mary Bernstein and Verta Taylor, Editors

The Marrying Kind?

A look inside the lesbian and gay movement’s disagreements over same-sex marriage

The Marrying Kind? draws on empirical research to examine same-sex marriage debates within the LGBT movement and how they are affecting marriage equality campaigns. The contributors analyze the rhetoric, strategies, and makeup of the LGBT organizations pushing for same-sex marriage, and address the dire predictions of some LGBT commentators that same-sex marriage will spell the end of queer identity and community.

The campaign for marriage equality has provoked fierce debate not only in society, but within the gay and lesbian community as well. The Marrying Kind? casts a bright light on this internal community debate through close and careful examination of how the issue has played out across the country. Hopefully it will make the activism and the arguments that surround this issue smarter and more effective.

John D’Emilio, co-author of Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America

As the fight for same-sex marriage rages across the United States and lesbian and gay couples rush to marriage license counters, the goal of marriage is still fiercely questioned within the LGBT movement. Rarely has an objective so central to a social movement’s political agenda been so controversial within the movement itself. While antigay forces work to restrict marriage to one man and one woman, lesbian and gay activists are passionately arguing about the desirability, viability, and social consequences of same-sex marriage.

The Marrying Kind? is the first book to draw on empirical research to examine these debates and how they are affecting marriage equality campaigns. The essays in this volume analyze the rhetoric, strategies, and makeup of the LGBT social movement organizations pushing for same-sex marriage, and address the dire predictions of some LGBT commentators that same-sex marriage will spell the end of queer identity and community. Case studies from California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Canada illuminate the complicated politics of same-sex marriage, making clear that the current disagreements among LGBT activists over whether marriage is conforming or transformative are far too simplistic. Instead, the impact of the marriage equality movement is complex and often contradictory, neither fully assimilationist nor fully oppositional.

Contributors: Ellen Ann Andersen, U of Vermont; Mary C. Burke, U of Vermont; Adam Isaiah Green, U of Toronto; Melanie Heath, McMaster U, Ontario; Kathleen E. Hull, U of Minnesota; Katrina Kimport, U of California, San Francisco; Jeffrey Kosbie; Katie Oliviero, U of Colorado, Boulder; Kristine A. Olsen; Timothy A. Ortyl; Arlene Stein, Rutgers U; Amy L. Stone, Trinity U; Nella Van Dyke, U of California, Merced.

The Marrying Kind?

Mary Bernstein is professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut. She is coeditor of Queer Families, Queer Politics: Challenging Culture and the State and Queer Mobilizations: LGBT Activists Confront the Law.

Verta Taylor is professor of sociology and affiliated faculty member in feminist studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is coauthor, most recently, of Drag Queens at the 801 Cabaret.

The Marrying Kind?

The campaign for marriage equality has provoked fierce debate not only in society, but within the gay and lesbian community as well. The Marrying Kind? casts a bright light on this internal community debate through close and careful examination of how the issue has played out across the country. Hopefully it will make the activism and the arguments that surround this issue smarter and more effective.

John D’Emilio, co-author of Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America

This book gives a fascinating and moving picture of the complexities and contradictions of a movement that has involved millions of LGBT and straight people.

Colin Wilson, Socialist Review

“The Marrying Kind?” is an important contribution to the ongoing same-sex marriage debate.

Santa Barbara News-Press

Probably the biggest take-away that Bernstein and Taylor give us is that a future in which marriage equality has been fully realized might look different from what we expect, and that the consequences are certainly worth speculation.

Curve

The Marrying Kind?

Contents

Abbreviations
Acknowledgments
Introduction. Marital Discord: Understanding the Contested Place of Marriage in the Lesbian and Gay Movement
Mary Bernstein and Verta Taylor

Part I. Marital Discord
1. What’s the Matter with Newark?: Race, Class, Marriage Politics, and the Limits of Queer Liberalism
Arlene Stein
2. Same-Sex Marriage and Constituent Perceptions of the LGBT Rights Movement
Kathleen E. Hull and Timothy A. Ortyl
3. Beyond Queer vs. LGBT: Discursive Community and Marriage Mobilization in Massachusetts
Jeffrey Kosbie

Part II. Marriage Equality Opposition
4. Winning for LGBT Rights Laws, Losing for Same-Sex Marriage: The LGBT Movement and Campaign Tactics
Amy L. Stone
5. Yes on Proposition 8: The Conservative Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage
Katie Oliviero

Part III. Marriage Activism
6. Mobilization through Marriage: The San Francisco Wedding Protest
Verta Taylor, Katrina Kimport, Nella Van Dyke, and Ellen Ann Andersen
7. The Long Journey to Marriage: Same-Sex Marriage, Assimilation, and Resistance in the Heartland
Melanie Heath
8. Being Seen through Marriage: Lesbian Wedding Photographs and the Troubling of Heteronormativity
Katrina Kimport

Part IV. The Impact of the Marriage Equality Movement
9. Normalization, Queer Discourse, and the Marriage Equality Movement in Vermont
Mary Bernstein and Mary C. Burke
10. What Happens When You Get What You Want?: The Relationship between Organizational Identity and Goals in the Movement for Same-Sex Marriage
Kristine A. Olsen
11. Debating Same-Sex Marriage: Lesbian and Gay Spouses Speak to the Literature
Adam Isaiah Green

Contributors
Index