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A Public Debate on Same-Sex Marriage

A Public Debate on Same-Sex Marriage

(p.51) 3 A Public Debate on Same-Sex Marriage
Below the Radar
Alison L. Gash
Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the modern push for marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. The information provided here serves two purposes. The first is to explore a typical and widely known example of backlash politics in civil rights debates. The second is to illustrate the substantive backdrop for the concurrent push for same-sex parenting rights, explored in detail in Chapter 4. Although marriage equality is on the verge of widespread legalization and acceptance, this chapter provides a survey of its volatile and visible politics between 1996 and 2006, in the aftermath of the Hawaii Supreme Court’s nod toward validating same-sex marriage. In particular the chapter reviews early marriage equality efforts, details the context and character of polarization between 1996 and 2006—including insights from advocates and opponents, analyzes media coverage and public opinion, and updates current political and judicial developments.

Keywords:   same-sex marriage, backlash, public, ban, court, gay, lesbian, marriage equality, ballot

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