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The Battle over MarriageGay Rights Activism through the Media$
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Leigh Moscowitz

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038129

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038129.001.0001

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Fighting the “Battle to Be Boring”

Fighting the “Battle to Be Boring”

Marriage as a Portal into the Mainstream

(p.25) 2. Fighting the “Battle to Be Boring”
The Battle over Marriage

Leigh Moscowitz

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines how leading gay rights activists staged the issue of gay marriage for mainstream media audiences, and particularly how they developed narratives about same-sex marriage as well as gay and lesbian life. It first puts the U.S. gay rights movement and the media in perspective before looking at the internal struggle over marriage that has been at the center of debate within the gay community. More specifically, it explores how the movement split over competing definitional strategies—whether to define marriage as a package of rights and responsibilities or as the ultimate expression of love and commitment. It also considers how activists crafted their strategies to “do battle” over marriage in the mainstream press and concludes by explaining how the gay marriage debate increased the visibility of a number of LGBT concerns, provided a space for new, “reformed” images of the community, and boosted mobilization efforts of the gay rights movement.

Keywords:   gay rights activists, gay marriage, mainstream media, same-sex marriage, gay community, gay rights movement

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