The Social, Political, and Judicial Contexts of Queer Marriage in the United States

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The queering of marriage in the United States is one of the most contentious current civil rights debates. For many queer families, great ambiguity in their current and future legal statuses and choices exists. However, some ambiguity has decreased given the recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings. As a result of these rulings, queer couples in California are able to legally marry again and the federal government now recognizes queer marriages. As the queering of marriage gains momentum, it is important to examine the contextual pathways leading to this point. In doing so, we can look forward by looking back. Here, we use a framework for understanding civil rights issues by presenting the impact of social, political, and judicial contexts on the queering of marriage from 1969 to the present. We also forecast the future of same-sex marriage in the United States.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-81
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of GLBT Family Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015



  • context
  • policy
  • queer
  • same-sex marriage

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