Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Group Three: Definition of Terms Used Within the Same-Sex Marriage Issue

An excellent definition of marriage was provided by Edvard Westermarck in The History of Human Marriage: “a relation of one or more men to one or more women which is recognized as custom or law and involves certain rights and duties.”

Marriage Equality
“Marriage equality” is the concept of same-sex partners receiving equal marital rights and opportunities as traditional heterosexual partners do.

Traditional Marriage
The marital practice which has become customary in Western society. “Traditional marriage” does not imply that a union is religious or otherwise, but rather merely suggests that the union is between one man and one woman.

Privatizing Marriage
Privatizing marriage would remove the state’s authority in defining what marriage is or is not. Those who favor the privatizing of marriage argue in favor of individualism, and separation of church and state. Some supporters of privatizing marriage support the enactment of two separate marital institutions; for example, “marriages” for heterosexuals, and “civil unions” for homosexual couples.

Civil Union
A civil union is a legal union that is similar but not identical to marriage. The first civil union between two same-sex partners occurred in Denmark in 1989. Different civil union laws and practices have been established in various world locations. A civil union provides same-sex couples with rights, benefits, and responsibilities similar to traditional marriage. In some countries, civil unions are also made available to heterosexual couples.

Scare Quotes
Scare quotes refer to when quotations are used not for grammatical purposes, but in order to give a word or phrase a negative emphasis. In discourse involving same-sex marriage, opponents will often refer to gay marriage as gay “marriage.” The United States’ mainstream press has for the most part abandoned this practice.

Defense of Marriage Act
A federal law passed on September 21, 1996 that relieves states from any legal obligation to honor same-sex unions as they would a traditional marriage. This act also stated that the federal government defines marriage as a legal union exclusively between one man and one woman. Despite multiple efforts, no attempts at repealing DOMA have been successful.

Separate but Equal
“Separate but equal” is a term that traditionally referred to the inequity that blacks and whites experienced during the nineteen-fifties and sixties, when Jim Crow laws were still intact. Today, the concept of “separate but equal” is often used in reference to the marriage inequity between heterosexuals and homosexuals.

Minority Stress
Minority stress refers to the distress and emotional ramifications that minority groups experience as a result of being stigmatized by society.

Literally defined as the “irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals.”

Photo Credit: NY Daily News

Works Cited

Bohrer, J. R. (2006, December 14). NJ Civil Unions: Nothing to Celebrate. The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 5, 2009, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-bohrer/nj-civil-unions-nothing-t_b_36351.html

Dershowitz, A. M. (2003, December 3). To Fix Gay Dilemma, Government Should Quit the Marriage Business. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 5, 2009, from http://www.rossde.com/editorials/Dershowitz_marriage.html

Equal Marriage for Same-Sex Couples: queer gay marriage equality. (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2009, from http://www.samesexmarriage.ca/

Homophobia Definition | Definition of Homophobia at Dictionary.com. (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2009, from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/homophobia

Jackson, Jr., H. R. (2009, October 5). One Man, One Woman -- Only. The Washington Post. Retrieved October 5, 2009, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/09/AR2009050902323.html

Manning, J. (2004, April 30). The Battle Over Same-Sex Marriage: The Defense of Marriage Act. PBS Online NewsHour. Retrieved October 5, 2009, from http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/law/gay_marriage/act.html

Rotosky, S. S., Riggle, E. D., Gray, B. E., & Hatton, R. L. (2007). Minority stress experiences in committed same​-​sex couple relationships.. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 38, 4.

Separate but equal: West's Encyclopedia of American Law (Full Article) from Answers.com. (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2009, from http://www.answers.com/topic/separate-but-equal

Wemple, E. (2008, February 25). Washington Times "Scare Quotes" are History. Washington City Paper. Retrieved October 5, 2009, from http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2008/02/25/washington-times-scare-quotes-are-history/

Westermarck, E. (1921). The history of human marriage,. New York: Macmillan.


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