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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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The Trouble with Marriage

(p.125) 6. Conclusion
The Battle over Marriage

Leigh Moscowitz

University of Illinois Press

This concluding chapter highlights the limits of commercial media as a route to social change and critiques the institution of marriage as a route to inclusive citizenship. It first considers how gay marriage in the 2000s was interpreted as a case of trouble for “straight America,” a reflection of the larger anxieties over an institution that appears to be fragile and falling out of favor. It then examines how the same-sex marriage debate also meant trouble for gay rights activists who sought to influence news frames and images and for the LGBTQ community more generally. It argues that the images and narratives employed in both activist strategies and news media discourses may unwittingly work to stigmatize (unmarried) gays and lesbians—and especially bisexual, transgender, and queer citizens—who do not fit the “normative” mold in this new era of visibility.

Keywords:   commercial media, social change, marriage, inclusive citizenship, gay marriage, same-sex marriage, gay rights activists, LGBTQ community, news media, lesbians

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