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Feminism, the Family, and the Politics of the ClosetLesbian and Gay Displacement$
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Cheshire Calhoun

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257669

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199257663.001.0001

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Defending Marriage

Defending Marriage

(p.107) 5 Defending Marriage
Feminism, the Family, and the Politics of the Closet

Cheshire Calhoun (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The positive arguments for same‐sex marriage are discussed. The first argument links marriage rights to a normative ideal of long‐term, monogamous, sexually faithful intimacy, and defends marriage rights based on the value of that ideal. The second argument presses the connection between homophobia and sexism, stressing the way that securing same‐sex marriage rights might reduce sexism. The third argument links the denial of marriage rights to the cultural construction of gay men and lesbians as outsiders to the family, who are for that reason defective citizens. In pursuing this third line of argument, the US House and Senate arguments supporting the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) of 1996 are addressed.

Keywords:   Defense of Marriage Act, gay men, legislation, lesbians, marriage rights, same‐sex marriage, sexism

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