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NATIONAL JOURNAL OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION LAW VOL 1 ISSUE 1 Mary Sylla editor mmsyllagibbsoituncedu A Personal Essay on Same-Sex Marriage Barbara J Cox Professor California Western School of Law Very little since Stonewall and the break from acceptingthe status quo that those riots symbolize has challenged thelesbian and gay community as much as the debate we have had overthe past several years on whether seeking the right to marryshould be the focus of our communitys efforts politicalinfluence and financial resources As is often true in mostsuch political debates both sides to the debate make importantarguments about the impact that the right to marry will have oneach member of our community on the community as a whole and on Arguing against same-sex marriage in her article Since Whenis Marriage a Path to Liberation Paula Ettelbrick believes thatit will not liberate lesbians and gay men but will make us moreinvisible force assimilation and undermine the lesbian and gaycivil rights movement She also argues that it will nottransform society into respecting and encouraging relationshipchoice and family diversity which are primary goals of thatcivil rights movement Ruth Colker in Marriage echoesEttelbricks concerns arguing that rather than expanding thecouples who can marry we should change the institution ofmarriage to eliminate its marriage-dependent benefits so thatpeople will choose it for symbolic rather than legal orutilitarian reasons She also recognizes the class-basedassumptions inherent in the marriage debate realizing that formost poor people marriage offers few economic advantages Nitya Duclos examines four reasons advanced for same-sexmarriage political reform public legitimation socioeconomicbenefits and safeguarding
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