Tag Archives: same-sex marriage

Legal Mobilization and Policy Enforcement: A Tale of Two Policies and Two Movements?

Scholars have long debated the role of social movements in changing policy outcomes – whether and how do they matter. Policies can also create political opportunities for social movements. Policies empower historically disadvantaged groups and provide them with the tools and resources to mobilize their rights. Indeed, as David Meyer put it, scholars often grapple with the “chicken-and-egg” problem of policy and mobilization; that is, which comes first? Thinking about this alleged paradox raises questions about the role of social movements following legislative “victories.”

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“Queering Marriage” Examines Same-Sex Wedding Protests, Institution of Marriage

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Chances are, you remember the flurry of news coverage about San Francisco’s 2004 same-sex weddings, in which over 4,000 same-sex couples wed. In news images, throngs of men and women lined up outside city hall. Jubilant couples radiated with anticipation of becoming legally wed. Brides posed with San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom. Soon, protests for the legalization of same-sex marriage emerged across California and the United States. The excitement was palpable and change was in the air. But, if you were like many people, you may have wondered: Are the same-sex couples who are so passionately fighting to get married motivated by love and devotion to their partners? Is it as an act of protest to gain the rights and privileges bestowed upon different-sex couples? Or, does same-sex marriage uphold heteronormativity or challenge it? Continue reading

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“Gayxtremism” in France?

In an earlier post, I wrote about the importance of the intersection of cultural and institutional factors in understanding the cross-national politics of marriage equality. One important part of this context is attitudinal shifts regarding gay marriage. According to a PEW survey, American public opinion has moved markedly in support of gay marriage in the four years since California’s Proposition 8. Recent U.S. Supreme Court hearings have brought out demonstrators on both sides of the debate. On a CNN international report (March 27, 2013), one opponent of gay marriage proclaimed that this is an issue for the people, not the court. According to Jeff Toobin of CNN, conservative justices have recognized the “growing popularity” of gay marriage and have argued in favor of using the democratic process (especially at the state level) rather than the non-elected judiciary. Continue reading

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